A High Court sitting in Okrika, headquarters of Okrika Local Government Area has struck out a suit challenging the Amiejubodie family of Somiari-Ama Community in Port Harcourt Local Government Area as bonafide owners of the ancient town.
The presiding judge, Hon Justice L. Ngbor Abina on Thursday,
May 20, 2020 in suit No. WHC/19/2020, dismissed the case for lacking merit as the matter had been satisfactorily adjudicated upon in 2019 by the Ogoloma Council of Chiefs.
The chiefs and elders, relying on historical facts and oral evidences from both members and non-members of Ogoloma community, had ruled that Somiari-Ama unequivocally belonged to Amiejubodie Family.
But, not satisfied with the judgment of the chiefs, the applicant, Chief Peter I. A. Somiari and others had headed to court as they challenged the veracity of the judgment of the Ogoloma Council of Chiefs.
Amongst the grounds of their action, the applicants claimed that the Ogoloma Council of Chiefs do not qualify as a court within the contemplation of the constitution.
They contended that to that extent, it's decisions or awards do not qualify as judgments and therefore cannot pass the test of judicial precedent.
The learned judge, in his ruling declared thus:"Upon this matter coming up for hearing and determination before Honourable Justice L. Ngbor Abina sitting at High Court Okrika.
"And after hearing S.A. Somiari with C.D. Kuneh-Epon of counsel for the Applicants and I.D. Israel of Counsel for the Respondents, it is hereby ordered as follows: That this suit lacks merit and same is hereby dismissed with cost of N250,000 only against the Applicants in favour of the Respondents".
Buoyed by this victory, members of theAmiejubodie Family trooped to the Assemblies of God Church, Tere-Ama, for Thanksgiving to God in what the Paramount Ruler of Somiari Town, Chief (Barr) Tamunokuro Alex Amiejubodie Somiari described as a second resounding victory.