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Edo Court Sacks Village Head After 12 Years Of Legal Tussles, Installs Another

Lucky Obukohwo, Reporting 


An Edo State Area Customary Court, sitting in Iguobazuwa, Ovia South-West Local Government Area of the state has nullified the installation of Mr. James Igbinadolor Iyangbe as the Odionwere (Head) of Obagie Village in Ovia North-East Local Government Area of the state after twelve years of legal tussles.

The Court, consequently declared Pa. Stephen Oyemwense, as the rightful and appropriate person to be installed as the village head and awarded a cost of N400,000 (four hundred thousand) against Mr. James Igbinadolor Iyangbe.

The Claimant, Pa. Sunday Oyemwensen, had in suit no. OSWAAI/2T/2013 dragged the defendants, Mr. James Igbinadolor Iyangbe (1st defendant), Pa. Stephen Oyemwense (Stephen Oyemwense (2nd defendant), Comrade Osamuyimwen Oghagbon (3rd defendant) before the court, claiming amongst others that the first defendant was not the appropriate and rightful person to be installed as Obagie Village head.

He further contended that the first defendant is not an indigene of Obagie, stressing that Mr. Iyangbe is only related to the community maternally and unilaterally declared himself as the village head.

Delivering judgement on the suit marked OSWAAI/2T/2013 the President of the Iguobazuwa Area Customary Court, Mrs. I. Osawaru, declared that from the totality of evidence led at the trial, the claimant was able to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt.

She averred that from the evidence adduced during trial, the first defendant, Iyangbe unilaterally installed himself as the Village head without adhering to the tradition and custom of the village.

The Court while awarding four hundred Naira (N400,000) cost against James Igbinadolor Iyangbe, also restrained him perpetually from acting and parading himself as the village head.

This is even as the court also declared the activities Iyangbe engaged in as Odionwere as null and void, while also restraining perpetually his privies, servants and allies from acting on behalf of Iyangbe as Odionwere of the village.

On the issue of a counter claim filed by the first defendant, the court held that Iyangbe failed woefully in his claim.

Reacting to the judgement, Counsel to the claimant, Barr. Godson Abonyi, described the ruling as a well delivered judgement.

He commended the court for the painstaking judgement which he described as painstaking and sound, adding that it was a victory against injustice and oppression.

Also reacting to the judgement, the claimant, Sunday Oyemwense, Mr. Osamuyimwen Oghagbon (3rd defendant) and Mr. Charles Ugbogbo, in their separate reactions commended the court for bringing Justice to Obagie after 12 years of legal battle.



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