Prince Harrison Jalla, one of the contestant to the Olu of Warri royal stool in Delta State, has filed a lawsuit against Ifeanyi Okowa, the state governor, and six others over the processes for selection and presentation of Prince Tsola Emiko as the Olu-designate.
Jalla, a descendant of Akengbuwa 1, the Olu of Warri who joined his ancestors in 1848 and also a member of the sole Ginuwa I Ruling House in Itsekiri kingdom, filed the lawsuit under order 38 Rules 1(2) & 2 and order 39 Rule 1 of the High Court of Delta State (Civil Procedure Rules 2009).
Also listed as defendants in the suit aside Governor Okowa (the fifth defendant) are Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh, Chief Ayiri Emami, the Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom; Prince Oyoewoli Emiko, Prince Tsola Emiko, the Olu-designate; the Executive Governor of Delta, Ifeanyi Okowa, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and the State Executive Council, who were listed as the first, second, third, fourth, sixth and seventh defendants respectively.
According to the petitioner, as a member of the Olu’s Company (Otolus), he is qualified to be the Olu of Warri and has indicated his interest to participate in the selection process and has since been nominated by his immediate family.
He, however, claimed in the suit that he waited for the first and second defendants to summon a general meeting to choose a successor to the traditional stool in accordance with the customs, traditions, practice and procedure of Warri Kingdom, only for him to realise that none of such was done.
Jalla faulted the eventual choice and presentation of Prince Tsola Emiko as the Olu-designate claiming that both the preferred candidate, who is the son of Atuwatse 11, the 19th Olu of Warri, and Prince Oyoewoli Emiko are not qualified by the tradition, culture and custom to contest for the throne of Olu of Warri.
He, therefore, prayed the court grant an order of interlocutory injunction to “restrain the 1st and 2nd defendants jointly or severally or their agent, servants from taking any steps, actions, conducts for the purpose of nominating, selecting or electing, screening, installing, coronating and crowning the 3rd or 4th defendant or any other person as the Olu of Warri to the exclusion of himself”.
He also asked the court to grant an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the 3rd and 4th defendants from putting themselves or presenting themselves as a candidate to occupy the throne of the Olu of Warri.
The plaintiff sought for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the 5th to 7th defendants from deliberating any report submitted by 1st and 2nd defendants relating to the choice of a candidate to occupy the throne of Olu of Warri pending the determination of his substantive suit.