Unbelievable: How Ex-Convict Lays Claim To Chieftancy Title In Cross River | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Unbelievable: How Ex-Convict Lays Claim To Chieftancy Title In Cross River

Posted: Nov 5, 2015 at 5:08 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Nsa Gill,                   Calabar

Uneasy calm is the situation of things in Idebe Ikot Esu village, Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State as two persons claim to be the head of the community.

One of the claimants, Chief Emmanuel Anthony Bruno Efa, who claimed that he was the village head-elect, has already petitioned the Governor, Senator Ben Ayade, over what he called an “attempt by one Chief Etim Edet Efa to impersonate as acting village head.”

In a petition sent to the governor by his lawyer, E. E. Ndiyo, Chief Bruno Efa insisted that he was selected by “the good people of Idebe Ikot Esu” and the Idebe clan council to be the village head via a letter dated March 24, 2014.

According to him, the clan council in a letter dated August 3, 2015 had forward his name to the Akpabuyo Traditional Rulers Council, chaired by HRM Etinyin Maurice Ekpenyong Nya, the paramount ruler of Akpabuyo Local Government Council.

“At this juncture, one Chief Etim Edet Efa surprisingly surfaced before the Akpabuyo traditional ruler’s council and also claimed to be the village head of Idebe Ikot Esu,” Bruno claimed.

Chief Emmanuel also alleged that Chief Etim Efa besides being an impersonator, is an ex-convict who by the Traditional Rulers Edict of 1978 section II sub-section (b) is not qualified for such office. A judgment by Her Worship, Mrs. M. E. Nsah of the Magistrate Court of Ikot Nakanda on 22nd November 1988 where Etim Edet Efa was convicted of criminal offence was attached to support the allegations against him.

Chief Emmanuel Bruno noted further that the confusion created by the claim of title by Chief Etim Edet Efa compelled the Paramount ruler of Akpabuyo to set up a committee which looked into the matter and Chief Etim Efa had “no significant thing or document to show his genealogical connection in Idebe Ikot Esu apart from the fact that he went there and requested for a land to reside there.”

He said that during the committee’s sitting, “Chief Etim Efa presented a purported letter of recognition as a village head of Idebe Ikot Esu with the following number, 00723 issued by the governor,” alleging that the letter of recognition was “obtained through fraud and misrepresentation.”

Consequently, the lawyers of Chief Emmanuel Bruno are appealing to the governor to revoke the said letter given to Chief Etim Edet Efa and “issue same to our client, who was duly selected by his people.”

This, they said, “will go a long way in bringing to bear, a lasting peace in the community, as it is incumbent on the good people of Idebe Ikot Esu to guard jealously the sanctity of the sacred stool bequeathed to them by their forebears.”

Efforts to contact Chief Etim Edet Efa was futile as his aides said he was not ready to speak on the matter “at the moment,” but an indigene of the village who pleaded anonymity said that there was an uneasy calm in the village.

According to him, if the matter was not properly and urgently handled, the fragile peace now being experienced in the village could rupture, leading to serious crisis as there is deep division on the issue in the community.