The state High Court, Sagbama Division, Bayelsa State, has resolved the protracted leadership crisis rocking the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), Worldwide.
Delivering a judgement at the weekend, the court declared Mr. Eric Omare, the authentic seventh President of the IYC.
The judgement, which was delivered by Justice E.G. Umukoro, voided the claims by Mr. Peretubo Oweilami, that he was the recognized leader of the influential youth group.
Umukoro, who granted all the reliefs sought by Omare in the suit, also ordered Oweilami to stop parading himself as the president of the group.
The judgement ended leadership crisis, which hit the IYC in 2017 during a transition that led to the controversial emergence of Omare and Oweilami from two parallel conventions.
Omare was elected in a convention that took place at Burutu in Delta State and officially took over from his predecessor, Udengs Eradiri, under whom he worked as the Spokesman of the council.
But some aggrieved Ijaw leaders organised a separate convention at Okirika in Rivers State, where Oweilami was crowned the leader of the council.
The development, which foisted two factional leaders of the IYC, compelled Omare to approach the court seeking the nullification of the Okirirka convention, a declaration that he was the only authentic president of the group and an order stopping Oweilami from parading himself as the president.
It was, however, discovered that the judgement came close to the expiration of Omare’s tenure as a process had been activated by the two factions for a unity convention.
Reacting to the judgement, Omare said it had put to rest the controversy surrounding the leadership of the council and would be in the archives for historical purposes.
He said: “On 5th day of March, 2020, the Bayelsa State High Court, Sagbama Judicial Division presided over by the Honourable Justice E. G. Umukoro declared the election of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) which took place at Burutu, Delta State in March, 2017 wherein I was duly elected as the 7th President of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide together with 10 other officers as the authentic and legal election.
“The Court further declared as illegal, null and void the IYC election which took place at Okirika in April, 2017 in a suit filed by two Zonal Officers of the Central Zone of the IYC, Amiebi Turner and Torutein Oki Isiya against Pereotuobo Oweilaemi and others.
“The Honourable Justice Umukoro also deserve my commendation for dispensing Justice without fear, favour or prejudice. This judgement has put to rest the controversy surrounding the leadership of the IYC and has helped to put the records straight for the purpose of history.
“However, I want to assure Ijaw youths all over Nigeria and all the people of Ijaw Nation, that the peace, unity and progress of the Ijaw Nation would dictate my next line of actions; hence there is no cause for alarm”.