Monarch sued over alleged excommunication, banishment threat
About 25 women married into Ezi village in Umunya community, Oyi local government area of Anambra State have sued their traditional ruler, Igwe Kris Chinedu Onyekwuluje for allegedly threatening to ostracize them from the community.
The plaintiffs, including Roseline Okwundu and Roseline Aronu, among others, filed the legal action at Otuocha High Court, Anambra State.
They are asking the court to declare that the pronouncement by the monarch and others to allegedly excommunicate and ban them as well as restrict them from interacting with other members of the community or enjoy public facilities within the community violates their rights.
Other respondents are President General of Umunya Town Union, Kenneth Okafor and Mrs. Francesca Ezeakor, listed as first and third respondents.
The women operating under the aegis of Ezi Umunya Women Group in a suit No/ OT/MISC.82/2020 are seeking for a declaration that as citizens of Nigeria without any legal liability, they are entitled to the enjoyment of their right to personal liberty, fair hearing, private family, peaceful assembly, association, freedom of movement and from discrimination as provided for in Sections 35, 36, 37, 39, 40, 41 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution.
They are also seeking a declaration to restrain the leaders of the monitoring team and chairman of Umunya Vigilante Group, Emeka Ekwuozo Ezeakors (4th respondent) and a purported Chairman of Umunya Progressive Union, Shedrack Obinna Okonkwo (5th respondent) from enforcing the said pronouncement of the monarch against them, with further threat to banish them from the community.
In addition, the petitioners through their counsel, Ugo Ugwunnadi are seeking an order of the court “directing the respondents to withdraw and not to enforce further the pronouncement of the 1st to 3rd respondents made in the palace of the 1st respondent in Ajakpani village in Umunya on June 4, 2020.
According to the motion on notice, the plaintiffs are praying the court to direct the respondents to tender a public apology in writing for an alleged unlawful violation of their constitutional rights by publishing same in some three newspapers circulating in Anambra state within seven days of the orders of the court to that effect, among other prayers.
Plaintiffs are further praying the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents and their agents from making further pronouncement or enforcing the declaration to ostracize or threatening to banish them.
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