Anambra State High Court sitting in Awka has remanded Chief Denis Ezebuilo, one of the claimants to the seat of the Traditional Ruler of Amanuke in Awka North Local Government Area of the state.
Ezebuilo was remanded to the Awka Correctional Center over his inability to appear before the court in the case between him and Inspector General of Police bordering on Ezeship tussle in his Community since 2023.
According to the charge sheet No A/26c/2022, Denis Ezebuilo had unlawfully on December 31, 2019 with the intention to create communal war, proclaimed himself the Eze-elect of the Community.
He also on December 19, 2019 unlawfully claimed legitimate traditional ruler of Amanuke, just as he portrayed himself as Traditional Ruler of Amanuke Community, offences punishable under section 19 (a) of Traditional Rulers laws No 14 of 2981 of Anambra State.
The defendant however pleaded not guilty to the 3-count charges read to him and was remanded by Presiding Judge, Hon Justice Charles Okaa till June 20, 2023 for his bail application.
When defendant counsel pleaded the accused be released to him, with a promise to produce him at the next adjourning date, the judge declined, saying the defendant was not entitled to such benefit.
Reacting to the remand order, his lawyer, Kenneth Onyekachi said the court declined his plea based on what it felt was better for interest of justice.
He described the defendant as people’s choice having been duly elected by them, saying their presence in the court premises to identify with him was a testimony to his popularity.
He said, “We have agreed to come back on 20th June 2023 to make application for his bail application. Apart from that, we will put our defence that the defendant was duly elected and he is the people choice for the throne.
“All the people around the court and court premises are for the defendant because they elected him as their traditional ruler. He was elected the traditional ruler in the public and not in secret place.
“Some powerful individuals in the community are not just comfortable with him and decided to humiliate the people choice.”
Also reacting, former President General of the community, Mr Ejiofor Augustine regretted what he termed intimidation by certain influencial members of the community for their selfish interest.
“The defendant was elected in 2013 as the traditional ruler of Amanuke community and after a year and four months somebody in the government use his influence and brought in another person as the Igwe. We are rejecting any other person other than Denis.