The Edo State High court sitting in Benin on Wednesday resolved the lingering boundary dispute between Okhuoromi and Egbirhe Villages both in Oredo Local Government Area of the State in favour of Okhuoromi.
The court resolved the boundary dispute marked B/361/2019 in favour of Okhuoromi over the failure of the Claimants to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.
Delivering judgement, Justice Esther Edigin, said there was no evidence that Claimant (Egbirhe) was forced to approach the palace on the resolution by the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II Customary arbitration verdict on the issues months ago, was valid.
The Judge affirmed that the Oba of Benin remains the sole authority that can decide boundary demarcation across the various Villages and Communities in Benin and as such the proclamation of the Oba of Benin Customary arbitration on the case remains valid.
The court also said the Claimant did not appeal against the ruling of the Oba of Benin, which parties in the suit voluntarily submitted themselves to, therefore was fatal that the Claimants prayers before the court to pull a wool, amounts to abuse of court process.
The court further held that the Claimants also failed to prove that the messengers that were sent from the Oba of Benin palace to demarcate the boundary between Okhuoromi and Egbirhe Villages as captured in the documentary evidence presented before the court during the demarcation, was uncontroverted, haven listed to the various submissions of the witnesses and Counsels in the case.
Justice Edigin who is the Chief Judge of Edo State, therefore dismissed the Claimants case in its entirety for lacking merit and did not award any cost to the defendants (Okhuoromi).
Justice Edigin also dismissed the counter claim that was filed by the defendants against the Claimants for lacking in evidence, stating that the counter claim was of the same status by the Claimant in the suit.
Briefing journalists on the verdict of the court, Mr. Monday Oseghae, Counsel to the Claimant, argued that the the people of Egbirhe Village did not seek redress for the sake of the verdict of the Oba of the demarcation of the disputed boundary as presented by his messengers, but that the messengers did not act in accordance with the directive of the royal father, the Oba of Benin on the issue.
But Counsel to the defendants, Mr. P. E. Uwadiae, said the judgement of the court has further validated the proclamation of the Benin monarch.
Responding, to the verdict of the court, the Priest (Ohen) of Okhuoromi, Ovbokhan Igbinovia and Mrs. Caroline Igbinovia, women leader in Okhuoromi Village, as well as the Village head, Pa Oghagbon Edosomwan, hailed the verdict of the court and the Oba of Benin and promised to live in peace in their locality.