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Jonathan T. Banigo Is Not Chief And Head Of Banigo Major House Bonny- Chief Elect. Ibaningo

BANIGORecent recognition of Amaopusenibo Jonathan T. Banigo as Chief and Head of Banigo Major House has been a source of worry to the Ibani Kingdom as it affects the Tradition and Custom of the Ibani People. In this interview, the Chief Elect. Of Banigo Major House Chief Joel Dagogo Ibaningo, has called on all sons and daughters of Banigo Major House to go about their Legal/Normal Business and maintain peace and order, that the purported recognition of Amaopusenibo Jonathan T. Banigo was on personal merit, which His Majesty, Amayanabo in Council has sole authority and constitutional right to invest on any citizen of his choice a Chieftaincy Title. The Banigo Major House has not installed or present to the Chief’s Council anybody as chief and Head of Banigo Major House for recognition by His Majesty, Amanyanabo in Council.
Ques. Chief Elect., Thanks For Making Time Out To Talk To Us. The Name “ibaningo” Is A Household Name In Bonny, Very Popular, But There Are Many Who Do Not Know You. Could You Tell Us About Yourself?
I am Chief Elect. Joel Dagogo Ibaningo of the Gilbert Burusu and Adiari Burusu all of Banigo Major House of Bonny. I am An Amasenibo in Bonny Kingdom, a knight of St. Christopher of the Anglican Communion and currently the Chief Elect. Of Banigo Major House Bonny. I am married with children, four males and two females. I am thedescendant of Chief William lbaningo, the Founder of Banigo Major House, Bonny.
Ques. Who Is Ibaningo?
IBANINGO — Traced to ‘Chief lringeresibo Manilla Pepple, who took over the headship of King Fubara Manilla Pepple House from his father, lbaniburufigha. Iringeresibo, led the Bonny Forces in the war against the Andoni in 1843. He died in the war and was buried at Perekule lwoama Bonny.
King Fubara, bought lbaniburufigha, who bought Iringeresibo, who bought Ibaningo and lmo Johnbull. Chief William Ibaningo, the founder of Banigo Major House Bonny. He was the first war leader in Bonny, designated by the King of Bonny (King Willam Dappa Pepple) and was the head of King Fubara Manilla Pepple House. Chief William lbaningo died and buried in Lagos in 1869.
Ques. How Did The Name Banigo Came Up?
The name Banigo was given by the European traders, on the pronouncement of lbaningo during their trading transaction.
Ques. What, The Process Of Making A Chief In Banigo Major House?
Before the custom and tradition of the house was reduced into writing, in 1977. At any time of vacancy, the elders (Principal Members) Heads of Burusu will meet and choose among themselves the most qualified member that can lead the House successfully. After the reign of Chief Francis Dede Banigo. In 1977 the Heads of Burusu and members of the House, came together and enacted for themselves a constitution. That constitution defined and provided for the mode and type of selection, Installation and presentation of Chiefs in Banigo Major House. From 1977 Banigo Major House strictly adhered to their constitution. Chief Joel A. Banigo was installed as Chief of Banigo Major House at the age of 53 years. Chief Owen Gogo Banigo was installed a Chief at the age of 50 years old. Because section 3 (I) and (II) of the said 1977 constitution, state that all candidates for the office of the chief of Banigo Major House must be a Member of the House and over the age of 25 years and under the age of 60 years. The 1977 Constitution was reviewed in 2009, under the chairmanship of Amaopusenibo Jonathan T. Banigo, with slight modifications. One of such modifications is that, and aspirant to the office of the chief of Banigo Major House shall be eligible if he is a Principal member (Head of Burusu), if he is 40 years and not more than 60 years and must be married. The first process is to indicate your interest, by way of application. After that a screen committee shall be appointed to screen the candidates, a date for election will be announce or circulated to members of the elders Council. After the election a candidate will emerged, who will be presented to the general house for ratification, to qualify as the chief elect. Of the house, who at an appropriate time at the headquarters of the house be installed as the chief (Warialabo) of the House pending his presentation to the Amanyanabo in Council as a Country Chief (Ama-alabo or Se-Alabo) as stated in the 2009 reviewed constitution.
Ques. You Were Nominated Along With Amaopusenibo Jonathan T. Banigo To Contest The Exalted Stool Of Banigo Major House?
Yes, I was not nominated, but I declared my interest to contest for the Chieftaincy Stool of Banigo Major House and was Supported by Wariopusenibo Jonathan E. J. Banigo, in lined with the 2009 reviewed constitution. Amaopusenibo Jonathan T. Banigo was nominated by Amasenibo Ferdinald 0. Banigo, that nomination was supported by Warisenibo Roland
J. Banigo as against the provision of the 2009 reviewed constitution. From the Genesis Jonathan has build his interest on a wrong foundation. We presented ourselves for screening, and was screened, I was declared qualified to contest the Chieftaincy Stool of Banigo Major House. Amaopusenibo Jonathan T. Banigo was disqualified by the virtue of section 6 (2) a, b and e of the 2009 constitution having been born on the 22 day of February, 1941, he is above 60 years, he is unmarried and not being the head of any of the Burusu. I was presented to the general House in a meeting of the Banigo Major Housedated 15th September, 2012, at the Banigo Major House Opuwari Bonny and my nomination was unanimously ratified, been the only qualified candidate.
Ques. Which Of The Burusu Are You Representing?
Both my Patany and Matany Families are Burusu in Banigo Major House, but as God may have it, I was elected to represent my Matany Grandfather Stool (Burusu), the Gilbert Burusu.
Ques. In Banigo Major House, Selection Of Chiefs Is It Hereditary?
No, selection of house Chiefs in Bonny does not based on Hereditary. This only applies in the Royal House, through a crown prince, who succeeds his father. But this is different in King Fubara Manilla Pepple House, which is next to the Royal Throne. King Fubara Manilla Pepple Stool is very important in this Kingdom. The process of selecting a Chief, having conceded to the immediate members of Manilla Pepple’s House. The Manilla Pepple House shall nominate two or three candidates as the case may be and present same to the King Fubara Manilla Peppie Group of Houses. They will carry out proper screening of the candidates, to trace where they were coming from, and then declared the most qualified candidate to occupy the Stool. But today what do we have, a wrong process to select the candidate to occupy the exalted Stool of King Fubara Manilla Pepple House, which is next to the Amanyanabo in Council. This is one of the cracks (Wrong Foundation) we are facing in the Kingdom, because the Kingdom is now built on a wrong foundation. In Banigo Major House, we cannot ask somebody from another House (Hart House) neither the father or Mother from Banigo House, only bear the name Banigo through his grandmother, to occupied the exalted Stool of IBANINGO, that cannot happen, Banigo Major House have most qualified people to occupied their father’s Stool. The Ibaningo Stool is not for a stranger.
Ques. Did The Banigo Major House Install Amaopusenibo Jonathan T. Banigo Chief Of The House As He Claimed?
As you said, he claimed, that he was installed a chief on the 18th of August, 2012 at Banigo Village. let us looked at ourselves as Ibani People. Has it ever happen in Bonny, a House which was mourning the dead of the Oldest Principal Member Warisenibo Harold Banigo, the Senior Brother to Amaopusenibo Jonathan T. Banigo which he was the Chief Mourner at the same day, the same Second, the same Minutes and the same hour when every sons and daughters of the Banigo Major House was at Bonny for the Burial of the Senior Brother, claim that he was installed a Chief, is this not an abomination? The Banigo Major House has not installed any person a Chief; the House only ratified my nomination as chief Elect. Of Banigo Major House.
Ques. How Many Burusu Head (warisenapu) Exist In Banigo Major House?
The Banigo Major House is made up of 31 Burusu which is listed at page 25 of the 2009 reviewed constitution of the Banigo Major House.
Ques. Amaopijsenibo Jonathan T. Banigo Is He Among The Heads Of Burusu?
No, he has no Burusu and does not head any Burusu in Banigo Major House, His father was not a principal member of or head of any Burusu in Banigo House as he claimed. He is holding an honorary title of Amaopusenibo in Bonny Kingdom, which gives him the privilege to attend Elders Council Meeting of the Banigo Major House Bonny, because he gaes with the name Banigo.
Ques. Why Are You In Court?
I am in court to seek for the interpretation of section 6 of the 2009 reviewed constitution of the Banigo Major House, which makes provision for the selection, installation and presentation of Chiefs in Banigo Major House Bonny.
Ques. Why Did You Discontinue With The Case In The High Court?
I filed in the High Court Suit number PHC/1709/2012 dated 7th August, 2012, praying the Court to interpret the 2009 reviewed constitution and declared me the only eligible candidate to the Stool. This prayer has been taken by events. I am now the Chief Elect. Of Banigo Major House, so I file in an application to discontinue with the Suit, which the Court granted. I have file in the Bonny Customary Court Suit Number CCB/17/2015, the parties have been duly served including the Bonny Chief’s Council with a new prayers.
Ques. You Also Instituted A Case Against Bonny Chief’s Council Why?
I file in Suit Number CCB/2/2013 against the Bonny Chief’s Council as Defendants. In this Suit I pray the Court for an order of Perpetual Injunction restraining the Defendants (Bonny Chief’s Council) either by themselves, Agents, Servants or Privies from either interfere, present for recognition, the family Head of Banigo Major House to the Amanyanabo in Council, without the consent and recommendation of the acting Chairman of Banigo Major House Bonny, Warisenibo H.T. lgoni. The interlocutory order was granted through a motion on notice moved on the 17th July, 2013. The Court order that the defendants (Bonny Chief’s Council) either by themselves, Agents, Servants or Privies as Principal Officers of Bonny Chiefs Council from presenting for recognition, the Family Head of Banigo Major House to the Amanyanabo in Council pending the determination of the Suit. The Bonny Chiefs Council through their counsel acknowledged the order of the Court through a letter dated 27th February, 2013 that the defendants will obey the order and they do not intend to interfere with the status quo whilst the Suit is pending. The Bonny Chiefs Council filed in the High Court challenging the Ruling of the Customary Court ontheir notice of Preliminary objection for Judicial Review in Suit Number PHC/1856/2013 dated 22nd August, 2013; this Suit was structout on the 18th February, 2014 in my favour. The Suit Number CCB/2/2013 is still pending for judgment in the Customary Court Bonny. The Bonny Chiefs Council are aware of the existence of Suit Number CCB/2/2013, PHC/1856/2013, MB/4,5,7/2012, CCB/11/2015, CCB/17/2015 and CA/PH/149/2013 in all.
respect of Banigo Major House Chieftaincy Tussle, which the Bonny Chiefs Council are parties.
Ques. Do They Have Any Role In Chosen Who Becomes Chief In Banigo Major House?
No, the Bonny Chiefs Council has no roll in selection and installation of House Chief in Bonny. Every house are independent.
Ques. Could You Give Us A Brief History On How A Chief Is Selected, Installed And Presented To The Amanyanabo In Council In Bonny Kingdom?
In Bonny Kingdom, the House is responsible to select and installed a Chief through the Elders Council (Warisenapu) or the general Council (Meeting of all Members) to elect or select the House Chief. The interested candidate shall indicate their interest through application or nomination, in lined with the House Policy or Constitution. A screening committee shall be constituted to screen the candidates, a date for election or selection among the qualified candidates shall be made known to the members of the House. After the election or selection, the elected or selected candidate shall be presented to the general House for its ratification, immediately after the ratification, the candidate from that date, becomes the Chief elect waiting for his installation at the House Headquarters. The House shall fix a date for his installation. All this exercises is purely internal issues of the House, has nothing to do with the Chiefs Council. After the installation, the candidate shall be addressed a Chief (Wari-alabo) waiting for his presentation to the Amanyanabo in Council, who will approved a date on application. After the Admission/Recognition the Warialabo shall be addressed Ama-Alabo or Se-Alabo. There is no Se-Alabo or Ama-Alabo elect in the Kingdom Traditional Setting. This is how a Chief is Installed and Presented to the Amanyanabo in Council.
Ques. Ama-opusenibo Jonathan T. Banigo Was Admiued Into The Bonny Chiefs Council On Saturday 28th November, 2015 As Chief And Head Of Banigo Major House, Is That Acceptable By The Members Of The Banigo Major House?
Were you present on that 28th? If you were there, then you should answer the question directly, if it was accepted or not. Look at the members who are present at the Coal Beach, set aside the invited clubs, then access those at home, out of 23 Warisenapu howmany were there, set aside the fake or Mango Tree Warisenapu. This shows that he was not accepted by the members of the Banigo Major House. As I have stated earlier a chief shall be first installed, seated on ancient stool of the House, with other authorize materials for installing a Chief (The staff of Office, The Crown, a full set of Beads as lbani Chief, the Symbol of the House — flag etc.). If I may asked, was Aamaopusenibo Jonathan
T. Banigo installed as a Chief of Banigo Major House and seated on the Ancient Stool of the House etc? The answer is No, He was not installed, the date he claimed of his installation was the date and time the Senior Brother, Warisenibo Harold Banigo Funeral Programme was on at Orusikiri Bonny and the entire House was at Orusikiri mourning the oldest man in the House, how do you believe him that he was installed on that day? How the Bonny Chiefs could as he claimed, performed such installation without the necessary periphery of installing a Chief according to Ibani Tradition arid Custom. Are these Chiefs not destroying the tradition and custom of this great Kingdom? Where is our tradition and custom? His Majesty could not have admit and recognize a chief that was not properly installed in lined with the tradition and custom of Ibani Kingdom as Head of a well constituted House in Bonny Kingdom. But His Majesty, the Amanyanabo in Council has the constitutional right according to the tradition and Custom of lbani Kingdom to invest on any Citizen of this Kingdom, a Chieftaincy Title, which right and authority he has exercise on the 28th November, 2015 on Amaopusenibo Jonathan T. Banigo on a personal merit as Chief of Bonny Kingdom. Any Chief of Banigo Major House billed for presentation shall be pulled in the House gig from the Headquarter (Village) to Bonny Coal Beach through the lminimabie (Adapossie Creek). He will moved on foot from the Coal Beach through Ikuba Square to Banigo House Opuwari, well seated on the Ancient Stool of William (baningo, from the Opuwari, Escorted to the Perekule Palace for Presentation, after which He returned back to Opuwari and Presided over a section/Refreshment well seated on the Stool. But this was not the case; Amaopusenibo Jonathan T. Banigo was droved from his houe at New Road to Julius Berger Road, through the Jetty entered a higher gig of the Hart House, His Patanal House to the Beach, entered a waiting car to the Palace, from the Palace to his House at New Road, is this one a Chief of Banigo Major House? I say no. let me qualify my claims with the following events, during the reign of Late King Opuada S. Pepple, Chief A. K. Hart and Chief Raph Maduka Hart was in contest of Hart House Stool, the King Invested on Chief Raph a Chieftaincy Title on Personal merit. Chief Solomon Jeky Green and Chief Abusi Green was also in contest of Jeky Green House Stool, The King Invite Chief Abusi Green and invested on him a personal Chieftaincy title and pave way for Chief Solomon to be installed Chief of Jeky Green House. Now Chief elect Joel Dagogo Ibaningo and Amaopusenibo Jonathan T. Banigo were in contest of the Banigo Major House Stool, the King invite Amaopusenibo J. T. Banigo and invested on him a personal Chieftaincy Title. The king is the owner of the Palace while Jonathan owns His House, why should we question their private life? Jonathan is a Chief on His Personalmerit, a bonus point for the Banigo Major House. At the appropriate time, the Banigo Major House shall install and present to His Majesty, the Amanyanabo in Council, the Chief and Head of Banigo Major House that wIll be seated on ancient stool of the Banigo Major House. Now the House is administer by a Chairman (Warisenibo H.T. Igoni) with a Chief Elect Joel Dagogo Ibaningo waiting for installation.
Ques. It Seems That The Bonny Chiefs Council, Don’t Want Your Candidature In The Chiefs Council?
Well, I can’t say yes, that the Bonny Chiefs Council, don’t want me in the Council, let me start from His Majesty, He has been good to me right from the time of his proclamation and he invested on me the Title of Amaseniboship of this great Kingdom. The Chiefs are my fathers and friends, many of them know my worth in this Kingdom, that I will be useful to the council with my wealth of experience to move this Kingdom forward. Why do you say that the Council doesn’t want me? We should wait after my installation, coming up very soon and the application for my presentation to His Majesty, the Amanyanabo in Council, if been refused, then we can qualify your question that His Majesty and the Chiefs Council don’t want me.
Ques. Under The Above Mention Situation, What Will Your House Do?
The Banigo Major House shall follow due process.
Ques. What Is Your Comment On The Purported Warisenapu Admitted By Amaopusenibo Jonathan T. Banigo?
Why should I comment on somebody private life, by the Ibani tradition and Custom, any Warisenibo that was not admitted at the Opuwari and on the Ancient Table of any House in Bonny Kingdom by a well installed and recognize Chief of this great Kingdom, should not parade himself orrecognize as a Warisenibo. If Amaopusenibo Jonathan Banigo recognizes and admits persons in his House at New Road as Warisenapu, what does that has to do with the Banigo Major House. They are not Warisenapu in Banigo Major House and Bonny Kingdom in General.
I appeal to all sons and daughters of this great House remain calm and go about their normal Businesses, at the appropriate time when the matters in the Court are finally determined and judgment given, the House will install and present to His Majesty, Chief and Head of Banigo Major House. The battle now is between the sons and daughters of Banigo Major House Vs. the Banigos by Name.
I wish you all sons and daughters of this great House and the Bonny Kingdom in General a happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year in advance.
Thanks and God Bless.

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