Delta CJ stops Asaba, other monarch’s allowances

The Delta State Chief Judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro, has barred the Asagba of Asaba, Prof. Joseph Edozien, from further collecting five per cent of the monthly stipends paid to all the traditional rulers in Oshimili South Local Government Area of the state.

Justice Umukoro, however, ordered the council to pay all outstanding stipends due to traditional rulers in the area to the Assistant Director, State High Court, Asaba, who shall deposit the fund into an interest-yielding account domiciled in Union Bank Plc, UBA Plc or Zenith Bank Plc, Asaba.

The Head of Protocol/Public Relations, High Court of Justice, Asaba, Mr. Agbaragu Timothy, said in a statement on Sunday that the court made the order pursuant to a motion on notice filed by the Akor of Oko Anala, Anthony Onwuka.

 The Akor of Oko Anala, who was presented with a staff of office on December 29, 2012 by the Delta State Government, had approached the court claiming that the Asagba of Asaba had refused to disburse money meant for traditional rulers in the area between December 2012 and May 2016.

 Timothy said, “The claimant contended  that between December 2012 and May 2016, the Asagba of Asaba, had converted the monies due to the traditional rulers in Oshimili South Local Government Area to his own, thereby depriving the claimant his rights and legitimate earnings as a traditional ruler.

“The claimant averred that all efforts made to make the Asagba of Asaba to do the proper thing met a brickwall, hence his recourse to the judicial process.”

According to Timothy, the Chief Judge, while delivering a ruling on the motion for an order of interlocutory injunction, held “It is fair and just to order the 2nd and 3rd defendants to temporarily stop the release of the monies due to traditional rulers in Oshimili South Local Government Area to His Royal Highness, Prof. Joseph Edozien, the Asagba of Asaba, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”

The statement added that Justice Umukoro hinged his decision on several judicial authorities, having looked at the supporting affidavit and the written address of the claimant’s counsel, R. Isitor.
The substantive suit was adjourned till February 16, 2017.