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14-yrs Kingship Tussle: Kalabari Monarch Dethroned…King Princewill Heads To Appeal Court

T.J.T. PRINCEWILLFourteen (14) years after the installation of King (Prof.) T.J.T Princewill, Amachree XI as the Amanyanabo of Kalabari kingdom, a High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State on Monday declared that his (Princewill) installation processes on 23rd March, 2002 were faulty, full of illegalities and therefore cannot stand the test of time.

Delivering the judgment in Suit No. PHC/624/2002 the Presiding Judge, Hon. Justice E. Teetito frowned the way and the manner in which King Princewill ascended on the respected King Amachree throne recalling that there was an interlocutory injunction granted on the 31st July 2000 restrained all parties from taking any step in selecting, electing, anointing and or installing any person whatever as the Amanyanabo of Kalabari.

The landmark judgment which lasted for over three (3) hours set aside the kingship installation of the Amachree XI, describing it as null and void. And the court ordered all the contenders to the king Amachree stool to maintain statu quo due to the pendency of the suit and subsistence of the interlocutory injunction granted on the 31st July, 2000. Earlier the judge said that the issues in contention were issues of legality and custom of the Kalabari installation of the Amanyanabo.

Meanwhile information reaching our newsdesk had it that king Princewill will appeal against the judgment that dethroned him in the higher court of law.

It would be recalled that in May 2011, an Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt ruled in Suit No. CA/PH/19/2007 observed the installation of the former university don, Prof. Princewill as the king of Kalabari kingdom did not follow due processes.

Justices M.D Mohammad, Ejembi Eko and T. O. Awotoye came hard on the installation and the recognition of King Princewill, they anchored their decisions on the interlocutory injunction granted on the 31st July, 2000 restrained all the contenders to the king Amachree throne.

The Appeal Court judges who described the purported installation of Prof. Princewill as a worse situation, pointed out that it was tantamount to flagrant disobedience of the order of interlocutory injunction made on 31st July 2000.

The Monday’s judgment that dethroned the respected Kalabari monarch which was delivered by Hon. Justice Teetito, was the case instituted by Chief M.O. Abbi.

  1. O. Abbi is a seasoned public administrator, and a lawyer. He is the oldest installed chief in the Kalabari Council of Chiefs. He joined the Kalabari chieftaincy institution for over four (4) decades and well respected among his colleagues.

Speaking to our judiciary correspondent shortly after the judgment, Chief M. O. Abbi expressed satisfaction on the verdict of the High Court, stating that the judgment is a victory for the Kalabari people.

The court also restrained Prof. Princewill from parading himself as the Amanyanabo of Kalabari.

Hon. Justice E. Teetito expressed disappointment in King Princewill’s behaviour for disobeying a court order and imposed himself illegally on the people of Kalabari kingdom as Amachree XI. The court ruled by nullifying all decisions taken by Princewill within the fourteen (14) years of his reign including installation and admission of chiefs into the Kalabari and Buguma Council of Chiefs.

The court also ordered that the king Amachree Memorial Hall and that of King Abbi Memorial Hall should be sealed up until the determination of the suit on notice. The presiding judge also voided the recognition of Prof. Princewill by Rivers State Government under Dr. Peter Odili. He went further to nullify all the decisions taken by one Chief S.O. Princewill when he was the chairman of Kalabari cum Buguma Council of Chiefs. ###

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