The Abia state government has suspended Eze Kanu Nwa Kanu, the traditional ruler of the Ibom Isi autonomous community in the Arochukwu council area.
In a letter issued by the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, the commissioner, Prince Uzor Nwachukwu, accused the monarch of abusing his office and flouting the code of conduct for traditional rulers in Abia State.
The suspension, outlined in the letter MLGCA/CH/S.5/S.4151, titled “Suspension from Office as Traditional Ruler,” was addressed to Eze Kanu Nwa Kanu, Ibom Isii, Arochukwu Kingdom, and signed by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
The monarch was accused of flouting the provisions of the code of conduct for traditional rulers in Abia State as well as traditional rulers and autonomous communities law.
The state government’s move comes in the wake of a contentious issue involving the traditional ruler in the selection of the Eze Aro, the traditional stool in Arochukwu kingdom.
Following the declaration of Prince Eberechukwu Oji as the Eze Aro designate by the kingmakers, his opponent, Goody Kanu Idei, reportedly contested the result.
Allegedly, Idei sought the support of Eze Ibom Isii, who then went on to crown him as the new Eze Aro.
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Aroused by the development, the palace of the Eze Aro of Arochukwu kingdom, which feared that the action of the Eze Ibom Isii could lead to the breakdown of law and order, petitioned the state government wielded the big stick against the Ibom Isii monarch.
The palace of Eze Aro insisted that the suspended Eze Ibom Isii had no traditional or cultural right or role to play in the selection of Eze Aro.
“The selection of Eze Aro is the exclusive preserve of the Okennachi kindred, which has followed the laid-down process by selecting and presenting the new Eze Aro for the kingdom,” they stated.