The hearing of the suit to enforced the rotation of otaru of Auchi stool amongst the rulling houses in Auchi was again adjourned to March 18The suit was filed by the Ikharo rulling house and 2 Others rulling houses in the kingdom.The trial judge had adjourned the case on January 16 to February 24 and 25 for definite hearing following the inability of the state government to file its process consequential to the amended writ of summons by the claimants.During the sitting, one of the plaintiffs, Mallam Mamudu Ikharo had mounted the dock, ready to give evidence in the suit before Justice Dan Okungbowa of Benin High Court adjourned hearing in the suit to March 18 and 21 following a vehement protest by Mr. Daudu Momodu, counsel to the defendant.Momodu told the court that he was not served the crucial documents, insisting that proof of the evidence from the bailiff needed to be shown to clarify if his client actually received it or not.Counsel to the plaintiff, Mr. Dan Okoh (SAN) who appeared alongside prominent human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) however countered, noting that he was ready to go on with the case as the defendant was duly served.Taken aback by the vehement protest by counsel to the defendants, Justice Okungbowa ruled that the documents to be tendered were crucial to the case as they touch the heart of the case no matter how little they may be and consequently adjourned the case for hearing.The suit by the Ikharo and two other Ruling Houses is seeking for the enforcement of the Report of the 1971 Odjiugo Commission of Enquiry into the Auchi Traditional Chieftaincy.Two other ruling families, Omonofua/Igechi/Omomo and Abikhiele who were originally defendants had opted to be joined as co-claimants against the Idao (Momoh) who are co-defendant.In suit No: B/329/2018 between the claimants Mamudu Ikharo, Yahaya Ikharo against the Attorney General, Edo State, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government Affairs, His Royal Majesty, Alhaji HA Momoh, the Otaru of Auchi, they are seeking a declaration that the selection, presentation and appointment and/or production of Otaru of Auchi is rotational, and each sub-ruling house of Ikelebe Ruling House of Auchi must take it turn in accordance with the custom and tradition of Auchi as enshrined in Section 3(2) and 14 (1) (c) of the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law 1979.The plaintiffs are also seeking a declaration that the Odjiugo Commission of Inquiry into the Otaru of Auchi Chieftaincy Title as regards the number and identity of the Ruling House and the order of rotation represents the true traditional, correct and customary position of Ikelebe title under Auchi Native Law and Customs.The Odjiugo Report of 1971 had recommended on page 22-23 that the Otaruship should rotate between the two in the following order: Idao sub-ruling House and Ikharo sub-ruling House.The report had also on page 23 recommend that since the Idao sub-ruling House had produced the last Otaru of Auchi as at 1979 when Otaru AK Momoh died, “it is now the turn of the Ikharo sub-ruling House to present a candidate to fill the current vacancy.”

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