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Former Minister of Finance in the military regime of late General Sani Abacha, Etubom Anthony Ani, has emerged the new Obong of Calabar. 


By Emma Ogbuehi

Former Minister of Finance in the military regime of late General Sani Abacha, Etubom Anthony Ani, has emerged the new Obong of Calabar.

The emergence followed his proclamation on May 22, 2023, by four out of the seven surviving Etuboms who were constituted in 2008 as the original kingmakers of the Efik kingdom.

Chairman of the Etuboms Council and Conclave, Etubom Essien Ekpenyong Efiok, said in a statement on Monday that with this proclamation, the activities for his traditional and church crowning would kick off in earnest.

Others who participated in the selection process include the Secretary of the council, Etubom Micah Archibong, the oldest Etubom of the Palace of the Obong of Calabar, Etubom Okon Etim Asuquo, and the Paramount Ruler of Calabar South Local Government Area, Etubom Nyong Effiom Okon (JP).

The statement noted that out of the seven qualified Etuboms, four were present and their decision was unanimous.

The statement read, “It is my responsibility as the regent and chairman of the surviving Etuboms council of 2008 of the palace of the Obong of Calabar and consequence of Supreme Court judgement that referred to the 2002 constitution.

“No other person apart from me can do the proclamation because I am still alive to take up that responsibility as chairman and in collaboration with other serving Etuboms as of 2008 and since the judgement there is no Obong on the throne. And it is not fair for us to remain for such a long time.

“So, we decided not to waste time and, therefore, bring in the most qualified person to the throne as the Obong of Calabar in the person of His Royal Highness, Etubom Anthony Asuquo Ani. What we have done today is not a parallel thing because they have not complied with the decision of the Supreme Court.

“This is the time we have gotten an Obong and appeal to everyone to be calm and work with the new monarch on the throne as there would be a turn of events for good and the Efiks will feel the impact.”

The Supreme Court, had in what seemed the first of its kind in history, in January this year, dethroned the previous Obong, Édidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu V.

The action came after years of legal tussle. The deposed monarch had been at loggerheads with some members of the traditional council over the processes leading to his installation.

In the judgment written by Justice Amina Augie and read by Justice Akomaye Agim, the Apex Court upheld the judgment of the Appeal Court, Calabar, and ordered for a fresh election.

According to the judgement, the deposed Obong was still qualified to contest for the office.

The Supreme Court ordered the kingmakers and Traditional Rulers’ Council to immediately convoke a fresh selection process to produce another Obong of Calabar in accordance with the 2002 constitution of the Palace.

Ani, the newly installed Obong, and others in Suit No. HC/102/2008, filed by his lead counsel, Mr. Joe Agi, SAN, had sued Otu and others in their capacities as members of the Etuboms’ Traditional Council for jettisoning the screening process of the Western Calabar.

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Hi, I,m Pospi Otuson. A Nigerian Blogger, Social Entrepreneur and Convener of the renowned Boki Business Conference. CEO/Founder of Possibility Desk, the largest online consulting platform for possibilities in the world.

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