Court stops clan from restraining its head access to personal properties

A vacation High Court sitting in Ikom, Cross River state has described as barbaric, unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect a clan resolution that purported to restrain Utsu Jeremiah Ikongshul Udie, the clan Head of Kubung-Bette from access to his personal properties and not to be interred in his village in the event of death.

The decision was made in a ruling in Suit No. HM/MISC.5/2020 at a vacation court before his Lordship, Justice Obo Awusa Obo.

The applicant, Chief Jeremiah Ikongshul Udie & Anor had approached the court suing Julius Akwagiobe Udie & 10 others by writ of summons in suit No. HMV/3/2020 seeking for orders inter alia declaring as null and void, the ‘drastic measures and resolutions’ passed by the 2nd to the 11th defendants on the 21st day of May, 2020.

He also sought an order restraining them from further interference in the internal affairs of the Ikongshul family of Kubung-Bette; an order awarding the sum of five hundred million naira as general and special damages.

While the matter was pending, the applicants through their counsel, D. O. Kulo, Esq. had applied by motion seeking for an order of interlocutory Injunction restraining the defendants/respondents, their agents or privies from executing or giving effects to the decisions or resolutions contained in the memo titled “Clan resolution” and dated 21/5/2020 pending the determination of the suit.

In his rationale, the court reasoned that “there is no amount of compensation which a court of law may order to be paid that can assuage for the loss of a man’s right to family house and the right to be interred in a man’s own village in the event of death”, while relying on Section 37 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.

The said barbaric unconstitutional, null and void resolution, which now has no effect, purportedly declared as drastic measures to

Denounce the applicant as their Clan head

Revoke and withdraw totally a proposed land for Alpha University which was donated by the Clan to Dr. Ashima, the Applicant’s son (for that purpose of establishing a university in the clan, work of which had commenced), among others.

The judge also held that the matter in exhibit B is a family matter which does not call for exhibit C – the null and void clan resolution. Appearing for the Respondents was D. A. Okim, Esq.

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