IGBO indigenes living in Kano State will not be allowed to celebrate the New Yam Festival this year after a high court issued an ex parte motion stopping all activities until the hearing of a substantive motion before it.
In an ongoing dispute, the high court presided by Justice Farouk Lawan Adamu, stopped Ndigbo from performing the New Yam Festival Iwaji 2020 rituals scheduled to hold in Kano this week. In its ruling, the court also restrained one Ikechukwu Oliver Akpudo from organising, assembling people and celebrating the Iwaji or any festival that has to do with Ndigbo living in Kano.
Justice Adamu directed the Kano State police commissioner Habu Sani, to ensure Mr Akpudo, other Igbo natives and the general public comply with the court order. The court further stopped Mr Akpudo from carrying out any event or other occasions whatsoever pertaining to Igbos in Kano State, pending hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by Igwe Boniface.
With regards to the substantive suit, the court fixed October 7 for the hearing. Meanwhile, the Igbo traditional ruler in Kano, His Highness Igwe Dr Boniface Ibekwe Ide I, Ezedioranma IV, has hailed the court’s verdict.
Dr Boniface, who is also the president-general of Igbo Traditional Rulers in the Diaspora, said Mr Akpudo has been parading himself as the Igwe V of the Ndigbo in Kano. However, Dr Boniface is recognised by the Abdullahi Ganduje administration as the authentic traditional ruler of the Ndigbo in Kano State.
“The court had initially restrained Akpudo and asked him to pay me the sum of N2m, as damages, for disturbing me on the throne. He has not paid the money, yet, he went ahead to invite people for an Igbo New Yam Festival.
“He also wrote letters to prominent Igbo personalities promising to give them chieftaincy titles during his purported event. So, I and my cabinet members, as law-abiding citizens, had to go to court to stop him.
“How can someone wakes up suddenly and begins to parade himself as my successor when I am still alive, still on the throne and performing my duties diligently as the authentic Eze Ndigbo in Kano?,” Dr. Boniface said.
Pointing out that he has been on the throne for 10 years, Dr Boniface appealed to the Igbos in Kano to be calm. He added that the New Yam Festival will be celebrated at an appropriate time in accordance with the Igbo tradition.