CALABAR: Thugs Attack Community Over Monarch Stool?
Armed thugs on Saturday unleashed mayhem on some residents of Uyi Effiong Street, behind the secretariat of Calabar South Local Government Area, Cross River State.
It was learnt that the disorder was the fallout of a tussle over the stool of Muri Munene of the Efut Kingdom, occupied by Effiong Mbukpa, which was recently declared vacant by a state High Court in Calabar.
The State High Court in Calabar, presided over by Justice Elias Abua, on September 25, 2013, in Suit No HC/343/2012, nullified the kingship of Mbukpa for failing to submit himself for another selection process ordered by the Cross River State Government on September 21, 2012.
However, residents of the affected street who spoke with PUNCH Metro on Sunday alleged that the attack was carried out by agents of one of the new contenders to the throne.
A victim, Mr. Ndabu Otong, whose right arm was bandaged, said the thugs invaded Uyi Effiong Street with machetes which they used to attack some residents, while few others were beaten up.
He said, “The thugs came in two buses and they were about 16 in number. They unleashed terror on a number of us. We had to call the Efut Abua Police Division to come to our help. I don’t know whether any of them have been arrested.”
Another resident, Mr. Simon Ita, said the embattled king, Mbukpa, was on April 25 chased out of the palace by people suspected to be hired thugs allegedly sponsored by some factional kingmakers.
The factional group had invaded the palace in some buses loaded with boys suspected to be area boys, when Mbukpa and the Palace Secretary, Godwin Bassey, who was also the Secretary of Efut Combined Assembly, were having a meeting.
Meanwhile, Mbukpa has filed an appeal at the court insisting that he remained the Muri Munene of Efut Kingdom.
He said the High Court judgement delivered by Justice Elias Abua did not address the issues at stake.
Mbukpa said, “I did not put myself in the position of Muri Munene but the people did. So, the government cannot choose a Muri Munene for the Efut people who voluntarily selected me. The ruling did not address the issue which we took to the court.
“They know the truth, but because of politics they have not allowed the truth to prevail and some legal officers have allowed themselves to be used by the politicians and making a caricature of the court which is supposed to be the last hope of the common man.”
In his notice of appeal, Mbukpa, among others, said the action of Justice Abua affected his right of fair hearing as the applicant and therefore the decision was a nullity.
He also said that the approval of the Governor of Cross River State to fill the vacant seat of the Muri Munene of Efut was contrary to pending suit in the Calabar High Court HC/210/2011 and HC/304/2010 against the exercise of the selection of another monarch.