Delta State Deputy Governor, Deacon Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, says full weight of the law will be invoked on persons claiming kingship/titles without backing of law in the state.
He, however, said that those seeing to have autonomous kingdom should first follow laid-down procedures for approval otherwise should be prepare to face the wrath of the state government.
Otuaro who spoke in Warri while addressing newsmen at the weekend, said, “This warning has become necessary amidst rising cases of persons parading as kings of autonomous kingdoms from existing kingdoms without state recognition or force of law.
“This is causing disharmony which could lead to breakdown of law and order. Some persons are going with the prefix “His Royal Majesty or other traditional ruler titles before their names.
“The Delta State Government remains focused in achieving its development and Stronger Delta agenda predicated on peace. We cannot watch by as rising number of persons take laws into their hands and endanger the peace”.
The Deputy Governor said such ‘fake monarchs’ should be reminded that Section 20, subsection 6 and 7 of the Delta State Traditional Rulers, Council and Chiefs Law, Cap T2, 2006 as amended, is in force.
He said subsection 6 (a) of that section states that “any person who purports to create a Traditional Ruler title or any title purporting same to be a traditional ruler title shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for two years or a fine of twenty thousand naira”.
He went on to inform of subsection 7: “Any person who, not being a Traditional Ruler appointed in accordance with this part addresses himself or allows himself to be addressed as “His Highness” including any grammatical form of that address or the traditional form of address of the Traditional Ruler within a Community shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to six months imprisonment or a fine of ten thousand naira”.
The Deputy Governor emphasized: “The Delta State Government would not unduly hold down people desirous of seeking autonomous kingdoms who follow laid-down procedures to get approval but until that happens, we will no longer tolerate illegalities and will invoke full weight of the law, haven severally warned in the past”.