Okonjo-Iweala’s Family Crisis: Ex-Finance Minister’s Relatives, State Government Battle Over Late Father’s Throne

The Delta State Government has been accused of encouraging a crisis in
Ogwashi-Uku with the endorsement of a faction of the Okonjo royal

The state government had last week confirmed HRM Ifechukwude Okonjo II
as the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku, saying all relevant traditional rites by
those concerned have been concluded.

It based its decision on a Supreme Court judgement, saying the state
has no reason to stop the presentation of staff of office to the

The oldest member of the Okonjo royal family and claimant to the
throne, HRM Obi Nathan Okonjo, in a chat with The Guardian in
Ogwashi-Uku at the weekend, wondered why government hastened to made
the endorsement when it was aware of existing factions, courtesy of
his letters to relevant state institutions, and the state is a
defendant in an ongoing litigation with suite number 0/39/2018, which
has been adjourned to October 28 this year.

He said: “We are already in an Ogwashi-Uku High Court and the state
government is the sixth defendant on the perpetual injunction
restraining Ifechukwude and anybody from the lineage of my late
cousin, Prof. Ben Okonjo, from ascending to the throne of Obi of
Ogwashi-Uku, as they are not favoured to become the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku
by virtue of the judgement in suit number 0/5/85.

“The matter came up on Wednesday at Ogwashi-Uku High Court, and their
lawyer, Dr. Nwabuoku was there to represent the family of the late
Prof. Ben Okonjo. That is a preemptive suit we filled last year, to
prevent what is happening today.

“It is a declaration that a fraction of Umu Obahai, to the exclusion
of others, including the claimants, cannot, by virtue of election,
overrule the Order of Court in suit number 0/5/85 mentioned above and
the age-long tradition of succession by primogeniture of the
Ogwashi-Uku people.”

“We are taught not to confront the government, but we are definitely
taking this case to its logical conclusion. Because what they are
trying to do is to instigate crisis in Ogwashi-Uku, and we will not
honour them with that, as we are very civilized people.”


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