... begin process of selecting new Obong
Surviving members of the Etuboms’ traditional rulers council of the palace of the Obong of Calabar have summoned a meeting to call on Western Calabar traditional rulers council to forward names of qualified nominees intending to occupy the revered throne of the Obong of Calabar, which had remained vacant following the sacking of Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
This is contained in a communiqué issued by the surviving members of the Etuboms’ Traditional Rulers Council of the palace of the Obong of Calabar, as of 31 March 2008, at the ending of their meeting on Monday, 15 May 2023.
The communiqué was jointly signed by HRH Etubom Essien Ekpenyong Efiok, Chairman/Regent; HRH Etubom Micah Archibong VI, Secretary, and HRM Etubom Nyong Effiom Okon JP, Chairman, Central Calabar traditional rulers council and Paramount Ruler of Calabar South.
Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu was reportedly dethroned by the decisions of the Supreme Court in Appeal No.: SC.633/2013 – Etubom Anthony A. Ani & Ors v. Etubom Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu & Ors and Appeal No.: SC.634/2013 – Etubom Anthony A. Ani & Ors v. Etubom Essien Ekpeyong Efiok & Ors delivered on 13 January 2023, where it was ordered that another process be conducted for another Obong of Calabar to emerge.
The Etuboms said the proposed meeting of Etuboms’ traditional rulers council was convened, following the non-compliance with the Supreme Court’s judgement which earlier sacked Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu.
The communiqué read in part: “By order of the Supreme Court, the selection of a new Obong of Calabar must be based on 2002 Constitution of the Etuboms traditional rulers council, again, by implication of the said judgement, the surviving members of the Etuboms traditional rulers council as constituted in 2008 are seven in number”.
“Therefore, pursuant to Article 5a(i) of the 2022 Constitution of the Etuboms council, the only Etuboms who can participate in the Etuboms Conclave are: Essien Ekpenyong Efiok, Micah Archibong VI, Bassey O. B. Duke, Nyong Effiom Okon Jp, Cobham M. Boco, Okon E.O. Asuquo, and Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu”.
According to the traditional rulers, the 7-man Etuboms are the only persons who have the authority to convene a meeting of the Etuboms traditional rulers council for the purpose of selecting a new Obong because “others who subsequently became Etuboms thereafter were all not members of the Etuboms traditional rulers council as at 31st March 2008”.
The Etuboms added that the outcome of the proposed meeting would be made public after necessary traditional steps and processes would have been completed.