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The Kalabari Chiefs’ Council purportedly suspended Chief Abbi for allegedly declaring himself as the Amanyanabo of Kalabari after a High Court’s verdict in Suit No. PHC/624/2002 nullified the kingship installation of Prof. T.J.T Princewill, Amachree XI as the Kalabari monarch.
Precisely on the 16th May, 2016, Hon. Justice E. Teetito brushed aside all the installation processes of King Princewill on 23rd March, 2002, recalling that there was an interlocutory injunction which restrained all parties concerned from taking any step in selecting any person whatsoever as the Amanyanabo of Kalabari.
The judgment also restrained Prof. Princewill from parading himself as Kalabari monarch. Last week the Kalabari Chiefs’ Council says that it has suspended Chief Abbi from its fold. The Council alleged that Chief Abbi held a press briefing and declared himself as a King of Kalabari land.
Sixty eight (68) Chiefs signed the purported suspension letter. Our investigation revealed that some of the Chiefs whose signatures are on the documents have denied signing such letter suspending a prominent personality like Chief Abbi from the Kalabari traditional chieftaincy institution.
No fewer than twenty (20) Chiefs have told our correspondent that they never signed any document to suspend any Chief eyeing the respected King Amachree’s ancient throne.
Some Chiefs from Horsfall/West group of Houses who spoke to our reporter in condition of anonymity said, “we cannot involve ourselves in anything that will bring division in Kalabari kingdom. The Amanyanabo’s issue is in court, there is no way we can take side now, until it is settled by the law.”
A prominent Chief in Abbi/Karibo royal House had warned the Kalabari Chiefs not to do anything that will put the entire Kalabari Chiefs’ Council into legal problem, and contempt.
According to him, who becomes a Kalabari monarch is still in court, and pleaded with the Chiefs’ Council to avoid further litigation.
The Chief who does not want his name to be mentioned kicked against the purported suspension of Chief Abbi, and describing it as baseless.
“He asked rhetorically, “Why should they suspend Chief Abbi? Has he done anything wrong? What are their reasons of the suspension order?
The Chief noted that what the Chiefs Council has done was illegal and cannot stand the test of time, and capable of tearing the Kalabari nation apart.
Another Chief from the Kalabari Central axis pointed out that the suspension order was faulty because the kingship case is still pending in the court, warning that anything done concerning the kingship matter outside the judiciary is tantamount to contempt of court.
He revealed that so many refused to append their signatures on the document that “suspended” Chief Abbi, because they are very careful and they have not been properly briefed about the case, adding that nothing will entangle them into the chieftaincy tussle.
He appealed to the members of the Kalabari Chiefs Council to have a rethink of what they are trying to do. According to him, if not handle properly it is capable of creating multiple fractions among Chiefs in Kalabari kingdom.
The Chief maintained that there is noday, Chief Abbi has declared himself as King, “I think the chiefs’ council is doing to intimidate persons who are fighting for their right”.###