Igwe Anayo Anochili, the traditional ruler of Umuogbugbuagu Autonomous Community, Ugwuoba in Oji River Local Government Area of Enugu State has been sacked by a high court in the state after being found guilty of certificate forgery.
Anochili was dragged to the court by another contestant, Chief Nathan Nwanze Nwangwu who stated that he (Anochili) was not qualified to contest for the traditional stool having presented a questionable Secondary School Certificate.
While Anochili insisted that he polled the majority of lawful votes cast during the Igweship election in 2003, Nwangwu stated that he was the only qualified candidate who indicated interest. He also accused Anochili of truncating his presentation to the government for recognition.
Justice Afam Nwobodo who presided over the case, found merits in the arguments of the plaintiff on Anochili not being qualified to contest in the Igweship election.
“The defendant has since tendered his school certificate before this court as Exhibit 16. The said Certificate is dated June 2004 and bears the name of Anochili Anayo C. born on February 1, 1979. Meanwhile Exhibit 2 filled by the 2nd defendant shows that he was born on the 1st day of September, 1965.
“Can it be said that the candidate for the Igwe stool in Exhibit 2 and the owner of the school certificate Exhibit 16 is the same person? My answer is in the negative.
“Now, even if the purpose of argument, that they are the same person, the question is- was the 2nd defendant qualified to contest for the office of the Igwe of Umuogbugbuagu Autonomous Community as the time he filled the form on 30th October, 2003? My answer is emphatic No.”
The High Court Judge also issued a restraining order against the defendants or their agents from conducting any further election or selection on the Igweship for Umuogbugbuagu Autonomous Community.
Justice Afam added;
“The 2nd defendant is hereby restrained by the order of this court from parading himself of being paraded by any other person as His Royal Highness, Igwe Cyril Anayo Anochili or performing any duties customarily reserved for the Igwe of Umuogbugbuagu Autonomous Community.
“The Court hereby declares that the 3rd plaintiff is the qualified candidate for Igweship of Umuogbugbuagu Autonomous Community and was duly elected/selected the Igwe Elect as at 1st January, 2004.
“That Executives of Umuogbugbuagu Progressive Union of Umuogbugbuagu Autonomous Community shall present the 3rd plaintiff to the Governor of Enugu State for recognition.
“The defendants shall pay the cost of this action to the plaintiffs, assessed at N100,000 only.”