KANO, Nigeria – The year 2020 proposed New Yam Festival by Ndigbo living in Kano State has been put on hold as the High Court has issued an ex parte motion, stopping the activities until the hearing of the substitutive motion before it.
The High Court presided by Justice Farouk Lawan Adamu, stopped the Ndigbo from performing the New Yam Festival (Iwaji 2020) rituals scheduled to hold on Sunday (tomorrow) in Kano.
The court, in Suit No. K/322/2020, 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 Commissioner of Police, Habu Sani, to ensure Akpudo, other Igbo natives and the general public comply with the court order.
“Order of interim injunction is hereby retraining the defendant (Akpudo), whether by himself, through any of his agents, servants, successors or privies, from presiding over, supervising, convening, assembling, summoning, celebrating, organising and partaking in a New Yam Festival (Iwaji Festival 2020) scheduled to hold on Sunday, September 27, 2020,” the court said.
The court further stopped 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. The court fixed October 7 for 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 that the said Akpudo has been parading himself as the Igwe V of the Indigbo in Kano.
It was gathered that Boniface is also recognised by the Abdullahi Ganduje administration as the authentic traditional ruler of the Indigbo in Kano State.
“The court had initially restrained Akpudo and asked him to pay me the sum of N2 million, 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 Indigbo in Kano?,” Dr. Boniface who has been on the throne for 10 years queried.
The Igbo monarch appealed to the Igbos in Kano to be calm, that the New Yam Festival (Iwaji) will be celebrated at an appropriate time in accordance with the Igbo tradition.