Rivers Monarch Suspended Over Refusal to do Witchcraft Self-Cleansing
A traditional ruler in Rivers state, the Amayanabo of Abonnema, King Disrael Gbobo Bobmanuel, who was recently elevated by Governor Nyesom Wike to the status of a first class monarch in the state, has been suspended from his position by the traditional heads of the community over an allegation of witchcraft.
The traditional heads of the Abonemma community in the Akuku-Toru local government area of the state in a letter dated November 20, 2017, accused King Bobmanuel of refusing to adhere to the directives of the Council of Chiefs and the Ekine Sekiapu Society of Abonnema, to embark on self-cleansing so as to prove that he was innocent of the allegation of witchcraft made against him.
In the letter signed by Alabi Tonye Graham-Douglas, Chief Enoch Granville, Chief E.K.Y. Jack, Chief Anthony Oweredaba, Chief A.B. Ajumogobia, Chief Berembo Pedro and Chief M.T. Membere, the council of chiefs frowned at the monarch’s decision to approach the Rivers State High Court in Degema to enforce his fundamental human rights instead of abiding by the directives to embark on self-cleansing.
A portion of the letter read:
“Aware of the far-reaching implications and the integrity question the said allegation would pose to the nobility of the Abonnema Council of Chiefs and by extension, the Abonnema Community at large, the Ekine Sekiapu Society of Abonnema requested you to embark on a self-cleansing exercise to prove that you are innocent of the allegation.
“Rather than heed the request of the Ekine-Sekiapu Society, you instituted Suit N0: DHC/10/2017 – HRM DISREAL GBOBO BOB-MANUEL (II) V. CHIEF PRECIOUS ELEKIMA & ORS to enforce your fundamental human rights and sought a declaration amongst others, that the decision reached by the Ekine Sekiapu society of Abonnema through the respondents in the said suit on the 4th January, 2017 is ultra vires, null and void.”
Bobmanuel had in his suit at the state high court questioned the authority of the Ekine Sekiapu Society to make a pronouncement on him. He was however said to have lost in court as the court dismissed his application.
The council of chiefs in their letter cited Bobmanuel’s loss in court as one of the reasons for his suspension until he performs the self-cleansing exercise ordered by the Ekine Sekiapu Society of Abonnema.
Punch reports that the traditional heads also appointed High Chief (Dr) OB Lulu-Briggs, OON as Regent/Chairman of the Abonnema Council of Chiefs to oversee the affairs of the Abonnema Council of Chiefs until the issues surrounding the allegations of witchcraft against Bobmanuel are fully and finally resolved.
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