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Human Right Lawyer seeks to eradicate the Osu/Diala Caste system in Imo State

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A Human Right Lawyer and Founder of Kingdom Human Right Foundation, Barr. Kingdom Nnamdi Okere has instituted a fundamental human right enforcement action seeking an order of the Court eradicating the caste customary law in Imo state.

 

In Suit no: HOW/73/2014, HIGH COURT OF IMO STATE, OWERRI DIVISION, parties to the suit are: BARR. KINGDOM NNAMDI OKERE (Suing on behalf of Kingdom Human Right Foundation Int’l) as Applicant. Versus. THE GOVERNOR OF 1140 STATE, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF IMO STATE, THE SPEAKER OF IMO STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, THE HON. COMMISSIONER MINISTRY OF COMMUNNTY’ GOVERNMENT AND CHIEFTAINCY AFFAIRS, THE CHAIRMAN IMO STATE COUNCIL OF TRADITIONAL RULERS ALL TRADITIONAL RULERS OF THE 637 AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITIES IN IMO STATE and others, as Respondents.

 

Barr. Nnamdi Okere

Barr. Nnamdi Okere

In a chat with news men, the human right activist and former Leader of the Students Union Government of Imo State University said that even though he is not osu, he has been adversely affected severally in his personal relationship with those who were said to be osu. “This vicious, barbaric, fetish, racial and discriminatory customary law exist in the South east of Nigeria, And that the said custom of osu/diala/ume is repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience. It prohibits marriage between two consenting adults of the two divides that is a violation of right guaranteed to the citizenry, This custom has existed for over one thousand years and is strongly in force in the south east of Nigeria. This said custom is inconsistent with several statutory previsions and has frustrated millions of intending marriages. In line with objective no 2 of the Kingdom Human Right Foundation which is to eradicate inhuman and degrading treatments, inequality, discrimination, and slavery, especially the osu caste system, the Foundation has instituted a suit in the High Court of Imo State of Nigeria seeking for an Order of the Court eradicating this barbaric custom”

In the Suit, Kingdom Human Right Foundation is seeking for the following reliefs: A declaration of the Court that the Osu/Diala/Ume caste system is unconstitutional, illegal, unlawful, barbaric, vicious, and immoral and breaches the fundamental human right of the people who are said to be Osu or Ume. A declaration of the court that the osu/diala/ ume caste system is vicious Custom and a matter of public interest that is capable of resulting into intra-ethnic strife, public odium and is capable of threatening public peace, harmony and co-existence. A declaration of the court that the osu/diala/ume caste system amounts to discrimination, slavery and racism. And that the said custom osu/diala/ume is repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience. A declaration of the Court that the Osu/Idala/Ume custom and tradition which prevents young people from exercising their right to private and family life by getting married to spouses of their choice is unconstitutional and amounts to discrimination, and racism. A declaration of the Court that the osu/diala and other caste system has denied so many innocent children the necessary parental care because the two consenting adults that gave birth to such children were refused marriage by their parents on the reason of the caste system, and this contradicts the Child Right Act.

AND UPON the following declarations: An order of mandamus of this Honourable Court compelling the Governor of Imo state to declare/proclaim osu/diala/ume caste system as unconstitutional, illegal, barbaric, racial discrimination , and slavery. An order of mandamus compelling the Governor of Imo state to declare/ proclaim osu/diala/ume caste system as eradicated and to also publish the declaration eradicating osu/diala/ume caste system in the official Gazette of Imo State. An order of mandamus of the Court compelling the Imo state House of Assembly to declare/proclaim osu/diala/ume caste system as unconstitutional, illegal, barbaric, racial discrimination , and slavery. An order of mandamus of the Court compelling the State House of Assembly to pass a resolution eradicating osu/diala/ume caste and publishing same in the official Gazette. An order of the Court mandating the Chairman of Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers to convene a meeting of ALL Traditional Rulers in Imo state where they shall declare/proclaim osu/diala/ume caste system as eradicated for being unconstitutional, illegal, barbaric, racial discrimination, and slavery.

An order of the Court compelling the Traditional Rulers and the CGC Secretary of the 637 Autonomous Communities in Imo state to convene a meeting of the entire community in Imo state where they shall declare/proclaim osu/diala/ume caste system as eradicated for being unconstitutional, illegal, barbaric, racial discrimination, and slavery. An order of the court mandating the Village Chairmen of ALL the villages that make up the 637 Autonomous Communities in Imo state to convene a meeting of all villagers in Imo state where they shall declare/proclaim osu/diala/ume caste system as eradicated for being unconstitutional, illegal, barbaric, racial discrimination, and slavery.

An order of the Court mandating the Village Elders, Ndi Ichie, Ndi Nze, Ndi Oha and other Traditional title holders to perform the necessary traditional prayer supplications at the various village square in ALL the villages in the 637 autonomous communities in Imo state where they shall declare/proclaim osu/diala/ume caste system as eradicated for being unconstitutional, illegal, barbaric, racial discrimination, and slavery. An order of this Court mandating the Governor of Imo state to make funds available to ALL the villages that makeup the 637 Autonomous Communities in Imo state to facilitate item 11 above.

An order of the Court mandating Religious Organizations in Imo state to organize an interdenominational service in Owerri where they shall declare/proclaim osu/diala/ume case system as eradicated for being unconstitutional, illegal, barbaric, racial discrimination, and slavery. An Order of the Court that young-men and women are free and entitle to their private and family life and can get married to spouses of their choice irrespective of any osu/diala custom and other forms of caste system and traditions that hitherto existed and without any interference whatsoever. An Order of the Court that the osu/diala and other caste system cannot continue to deny innocent children the necessary parental care because the two consenting adults that gave birth to them were refused marriage by their parents on the reason of the caste system. And for such further other orders as the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances. The matter is slated for hearing on 21 Feb. 2014.

 

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USAID begins Covid-19 testing in Imo rural areas

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USAID averts 25,000 unwanted pregnancies in Ebonyi, Kogi

…Umuagwo Varsity of Agric kicks-off October

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has begun Covid-19 testing in the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo State, “in a bid to reduce the impact of community spread of the virus in the rural areas of the state.

The Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba disclosed this in Owerri while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Weekly Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Hope Uzodimma on Wednesday.

Chief Emelumba said so far, the USAID officials have carried out reasonable number of testing in Njaba LGA and reported that all those tested came out negative and that the council prayed that the result from other Local Government Areas will be the same.

He announced that the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the take off of the Imo State University for Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Umuagwo in October this year.

According to him, the approval underscores the efforts which the Imo State Government ably led by Governor Hope Uzodinma has made towards the establishment of a second university for the state.

Recently, the NUC panel was in Imo State to carry out the necessary verification exercises on the state facilities, human and physical infrastructures.

Mr. Declan Emelumba, who was flanked by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Bernard Ikegwuoha, Commissioner for Health Dr. Damaris Osunkwo and the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku, informed that the Executive Council is happy that something new is happening in the Education Sector of the State.

Emelumba said that the Imo State University of Science and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo will take off by October when other universities would be resuming for a new academic session.

In the same vein, the Council has approved the immediate relocation of Faculty of Engineering Imo State University Owerri to its permanent site at Okigwe, stressing that Government has put all processes and facilities on ground to ensure the immediate take–off of the faculty.

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM  Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

The Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku has visited Mr. Ogechi Iwu, a journalist with Osiza FM.

The media man is hospitalized at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri over complications from diabetes that led to his right leg being amputated.

Mr. Nwachuku said the visit was to show solidarity on behalf of Governor Uzodimma to his professional colleague, assuring him of their prayers, particularly that of his principal, and the prayers of Mr. Iwu’s numerous friends and well wishers who are touched by his plight.

“I am here on behalf of my principal to associate with him in this time of health challenge and to encourage him not to see the sickness as a death sentence.”

Oge Iwu at fmc

L-R: Chief Akaraonye, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku with Ogechi Iwu during the visit

Mr. Nwachuku urged Mr. Iwu to continue in the high spirit he saw him and trust God for his total recovery “because healing is a thing of mind and when a sick person is in high spirit the patient gets recovered quickly.”

The spokesman of the Governor promised to bring the plight of the journalist to the attention of his principal, and assured that the Governor will, in his usual manner of one with milk of human sympathy, show concern over Iwu’s plight.

Earlier, Mr. Iwu thanked the CPS/Media Adviser, the State Chairman of NUJ, Imo State, Chief Christopher Akaraonye and other journalists who were on the entourage, for coming to identify with him on his sick bed, and assured that God in his infinite mercy will quicken his recovery.

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has inaugurated a new Governing Council, for the Imo State University, IMSU, Owerri.

At the inauguration ceremony on Monday, August 31, the governor named Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji as the Chairman of the Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor of the University.

Other members of the Council include: Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, Chief Tony Ezenna, Prof. (Ven.) Chinedu Nebo, Sir. Louis Ezeigwe, Chief Engr. Ernest Nwapa, Dr. (Mrs.) Uwandu Uzoma, Ugoeze Victoria Adaku Ekezie, Prof. Adaobi Obasi (Vice Chancellor) and others.

Speaking at the inauguration, Governor Uzodimma said the choice of the members is to infuse fresh air into the university because “It is in dire need to bounce back to reckoning.”
He added that the choice of the members was because they have carved a niche for themselves in their chosen fields of endeavour and that they have earned solid reputation as men and women of substance in their individual trade, indices that qualified them for the appointment.

He challenged the members to bring their reputation to bear on the University, bearing in mind the task for good quality scholarship in Imo State University as well as service to humanity.

The Governor urged the members to deploy their individual accomplishments, excellence, expertise, passion for service as effectively as necessary to actualize the dream of his administration of having a highly reputable University comparable to the best Universities in the World.

He also requested the Council to “restore in words and deeds the motto of Imo State University, which is Excellence in Service”.

“Imo State University currently is a classical example of a failed University,” Governor Uzodimma said but strongly believed that “with a star studded Governing Council such as the one inaugurated there is no doubt that Imo is on the track to realize the dreams of her founding fathers.”

He further enjoined the Council members to quickly hit the ground running and come up with policies and programmes that will reassure Imo people that the University that made them proud 20 years back is on track as he assured them of Government partnership in this regard.

In an acceptance speech, on behalf of the Council, the Chairman, Most Rev. Ugorji who is the Catholic Bishop of Umuahia thanked the Governor for the absolute confidence reposed in them by giving them the assignment and acknowledged that though the task is daunting he has a strong belief that with the calibre of members of the Council and support of the management, staff and students the University will be returned to a centre of excellence which was the dream of the founding fathers.

He said that Imo State University deserves the best and that he and his members as inaugurated will work acidulously to ensure that the target of the governor in making Imo State University one of the best universities in Africa is realised.

He congratulated fellow members and promised that God’s willing, they will not fail the government and people of Imo State.

Present at the inauguration were the Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, the Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu, and other members of the expanded State Executive Council.

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