The brewing contention over selection process of the next Olu of Warri took legal dimension, as an Itsekiti Prince, Harrison Jalla, has filed a lawsuit before the Delta State High Court.
Prince Jalla, who sued Prince Tsola Emiko along with principal kingmakers of the Warri kingdom, challenged the emergence of the Olu of Warri designate.
He also joined Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and Delta state government as co-defendants.
Emiko, son of the 19th Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse II, was announced the Olu of Warri designate after the pronouncement of the passage of Ogiame Ikenwoli, the 20th Olu Warri.
In the court papers filed through his counsel, Prince 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, prayed the court to annul steps already taken so far in the processes for selection and presentation of Prince Tsola Emiko as the Olu-designate.
In his lawsuit, he listed Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh, Chief Ayiri Emami, the Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom, Prince Oyoewoli Emiko, Prince Tsola Emiko, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the State Attorney General and the State Executive Council as defendants.
Prince Jalla argued that 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.
He added that his immediate family has also nominated him for the royal position and only waiting for the 1st and 2nd defendants to summon a meeting to choose a successor to the traditional stool, in accordance with the customs, traditions, practice, and procedure of Warri Kingdom.
He maintained that no general meeting for that purpose was called and that the eventual choice and presentation of Prince Tsola Emiko as the Olu-designate should be declared null and void.
He claimed that both Prince Oyoewoli Emiko and Prince Tshola Emiko are not qualified by the tradition, culture, and custom to contest for the throne of Olu of Warri.
Prince Jalla sought an order of interlocutory injunction from the court to “restrain the 1st and 2nd defendants jointly or severally or their agent, servants from taking any steps, actions, conduct 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”.
The petitioner also sought 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.
He further prayed the court 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.