By Steve Jonathan
Efforts have been intensified by some well-meaning indigenes of Isseke town in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra state, to resolve the protracted community disputes, even as greater numbers of the indulgent actors in the lingering dispute insist on meeting certain conditions before the case would be finally withdrawn from court.
The matter which began as a minor feud over who was the authentic chairman of Edeke Village, between the subsisting occupant of the office and another man who was allegedly elected at the palace of the town’s monarch, who also hails from the village, has assumed a dramatic dimension, with the matter being currently at Ihiala High Court 1 of Anambra State Court of Justice..
Recall that on Monday, 12th October 2020 when the case came up for hearing, the Court was filled to the brim by indigenes of the town.
Over 10 lawyers appearing for litigants on both sides of the disputes were all present as well as the parties themselves.
Though, the Traditional Ruler of Isseke, Igwe Emmanuel Nnabuife was conspicuously absent, members of the town’s traditional cabinet were present, including those whose names are not on the writ of summons as defendants. The plaintiffs were also in attendance. Members of the executive committee of Isseke Progressive Union (IPU) were equally in the court. Youths from the community also came to show solidarity with a side in the dispute who, they said, are being victimised by powers that be in Isseke.
Although the court adjourned the matter till December 1, for report of settlement, the three sides to the crisis are obviously sticking to their guns with none willing to concede any ground.
But the order adjourning the case was made following an application to that effect by Chief Chinonso Obiagwu (SAN) who appeared for 1st to 5th Defendants, including Igwe Nnabuife. The court made the order after counsel to parties gave their commitment to an amicable settlement.
Speaking to our correspondent after the court’s proceedings, the substantive Chairman of Edeke Village, Nze Victor Odini – who alongside Mr. Chris Okoye sued Igwe Nnabuife, Simon Ezike, Matthew Mgbeodike and three others before the court granted an order of joinder that was sought by yet another group as second set of defendants – said that any settlement that would not allow him to finish his tenure may not be acceptable to his people.
Nze Odini said what is happening in Isseke is an insensitive show of power by those who think they can do anything and go unperturbed.
In his reaction however, the President General of Isseke Town Union, Chief Gilbert Okonkwo who solicited for the ‘out of court settlement’, appealed to the fledgling groups in the matter to sheath their sword and embrace the call for peaceful resolution of the disputes.
Chief Okonkwo remarked that everyone that genuinely seeks peace would always have something to sacrifice, explaining that it should not be a win- win affair for any group.
He expressed optimism that in constituting the peace resolution committee, concerted efforts would be made to see that only notable and truthful indigenes who must be seen as unbiased arbiters of the town will be in the committee, so that at the end lasting peace would be restored to the community to the satisfaction of all and sundry.
“I cannot be the Town’s President General and my community is engulfed in crisis. That is why I appeal to every group to swallow their ego and position and give peace a chance”, Chief Okonkwo remarked.
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