The Enugu State Government has approved the constitution of Administrative Panel of Inquiry to probe the alleged breach of the customary code of conduct by Onyefulu Ilomaonweya, the traditional ruler of Amaetiti-Achi Autonomous Community in Oji River Local Government Area.
It however said it had no hand in the criminal charge preferred against the monarch who was suspended about two weeks ago.
The Commissioner for Chieftaincy Matters, Emeka Okeke, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Monday.
Mr Okeke said that the state government needed not be linked with the current ordeal of Ilomaonweya, who was charged to court for alleged illegal possession of firearms.
“The traditional ruler is currently facing a trial. Unregistered firearms were allegedly recovered from his house for which he has been charged with illegal possession of firearms.
“The charge has nothing to do with the state government as no one has the right to possess firearms without registration,” he said.
“No traditional ruler is haunted by the state government. Ilomaonweya is being haunted by his recklessness and disrespect to the Customary Code of Ethics guiding the people of Amaetiti-Achi.
“He has issues with his people who have written petitions against him. He has issues with neighbouring communities,” he said.
Mr Okeke said that the ministry was in possession of several petitions on the conducts of the monarch.
He said that in due time all those who wrote the petitions would defend their positions before the panel.
“There is a petition that he has a cell in his palace where he locks up those he arrests. We heard that such people are also released to their relations after meeting a bail condition.
“We also received a petition from a traditional ruler from a neighbouring community who alleged that Mr Ilomaonweya visited his palace on April 18, 2017 and fought him,” he said.
The commissioner said that the monarch was in the first instance suspended on the strength of the several petitions in order to pave way for further investigations.
The commissioner said that the panel of inquiry would look into various petitions from within and outside the monarch’s domain.
According to him, the ministry has many petitions against the monarch from his subjects, churches and neighbouring communities.
The state government had on April 17 suspended Mr Ilomaonweya as a traditional ruler in the state for alleged actions inconsistent with the peaceful atmosphere in the state.
Mr Okeke also said that the monarch’s subjects were in Government House to protest that their N5 million community development grant should not be given to the traditional ruler.
He said that the embattled monarch was in the state house to collect the money and also witnessed the protest against him by members of the community,
The commissioner said that the state government administered the traditional stool in accordance with the code of conduct upon which traditional rulers were elected.
He appealed to monarchs not to delve into actions capable of truncating the existing peace which the state government had struggled to put in place.
Mr Okeke also urged subjects to accord due respect to their traditional rulers adding that there was no need of skirmishes between monarchs and their subjects.
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