Eben Enasco Reporting.

A High Court of Justice in Okada Judicial Division has set June 13, 2023, for a definite hearing over who becomes the authentic Odionwere, Village head, of the Iyowa Community in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State.

The melee is between two factions Nonagenarian, Pa Samson Obazee, a 93-year-old man, and one Pa Enotiemwomwan Igbinidu 95-year-old who is laying claim to the Odionwere stool in the community.

In an enrollment of order placed before the court by the claimant’s Counsel O.M Obayiuwana on behalf of Pa Enotiemwomwan Igbinidu against the Respondent, Samson Obazee seek the court to restrain the respondent from parading himself as the Odionwere.

The court on hearing the claimant’s relief sought in the suit for Interlocutory Injunction, however, call for both parties to maintain the status quo ‘ante bellum’ and keep the peace while adjourning till June 13, 202,3 for a definite hearing.

Days after the Court adjournment, the Pa Obazee’s faction of the Odionwere of Iyowa Community on Saturday, said he remains the authentic head of the community giving the position of the Court.

Addressing newsmen at the community town hall, Counsel to the defendant, Unity Omatseye said the matter of who becomes the Odionwere of the community is already in court and that it has ordered them to maintain the status quo.

He claimed that his position as the Odionwere of the Iyowa community was penultimately validated by the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Ewuare ll, CFR.

Omatseye said Pa Obazee has been the Odionwere of the community having taken over from his successor and while exercising his rights, suddenly, the youth leader, Etiosa Ighodaro, allegedly brought in one Pa Enotiemwomwan Igbinidu whom he introduced as the Odionwere against the will of the people

Corroborating the claims, the Secretary of the community, Pa Reuben Owie, alleged that, Etiosa Ighodaro, who has been the CDA chairman for over 18 years before it was proscribed by the Oba of Benin, in connection with some individuals in the community, brought in one Enotiemwomwan Igbinidu and introduced him as the Odionwere of the community.

This was, however, countered by the counsel to the claimant, O. M Obayiuwana who described the claims by the defendant’s counsel as misleading, arguing that the matter is before the court.

According to the counsel who quoted the court paper with suit No. HCOK/16/2023, there is no other Odionwere the court has asked to maintain the status quo than his Client, Pa Enotiemwomwan Igbinidu who abinitio assumed the stool before the crisis.

The struggle for the Odionwere stool in Iyowa has generated heightened tensions and continued to place the community in a bad light with a flurry of gunshots now and then.

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