History of the itsekiri

Contact Us Who are the Itsekiri? The Itsekiri are a peculiar and unique people in the Nigerian Niger delta. They have inhabited their homeland, which now constitutes the three Warri Local Government Areas of Delta State, Nigeria, for centuries. The Itsekiri have rich traditional and cultural practices.

History of the itsekiri

The averments in the plaintiffs' amended statement of claim and History of the itsekiri evidence adduced in support showed clearly that the claim was based partly on traditional evidence and partly on acts of ownership. The averments in the defendants' statement of defence and the evidence given by them in support gave a completely different version of the traditional evidence.

The defendants also testified as to their acts of ownership on the land in dispute. It must be pointed out at this stage, however, that the defendants did not counterclaim for title to the land. In a considered judgement, the learned trial judge after reviewing, at great length if we may say so, all the evidence adduced by both parties, rejected the traditional evidence adduced in support of the plaintiffs' claim after observing as follows: The plaintiffs say that Ginuwa I founded a kingdom and that before Ekpen came to Okere the area of Okere was or would be part of that kingdom.

There is no evidence of the extent or area covered by that kingdom, nor is there any evidence going to show any act or acts in history which made the area part of the kingdom founded by Ginuwa I before Ekpen came there.

History of the itsekiri

The evidence in plaintiffs' case only shows that Ginuwa I when he was trying to make a settlement after leaving Benin got as far as Ijalla where he ultimately settled, lived died and was buried.

There is no evidence in plaintiffs' case going to show that in the process of making his settlement or kingdom he or any persons under him settled anywhere beyond Ijalla and towards or in Okere.

I do not believe that any kingdom founded by Ginuwa I extended to Okere. Plaintiffs' evidence and also evidence in the whole case do not prove such extent of any kingdom founded by Ginuwa I. The evidence in the plaintiffs' case is that the first of the ancestors of the Idimisobos, that is, the defendants' people, to come to Okere came there during the reign of Olaraja Arukuleyi and the plaintiffs put the time of Arukuleyi's reign at about two hundred years ago or more.

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The Olu then was Akengbuwa who was on the throne from to see the evidence of plaintiffs' 6th witness, Chief Begho. From when Ginuwa I founded his kingdom to when Akengbuwa became Olu and during whose reign plaintiffs say Arukuleyi was Olaraja is about three hundred years, actually three hundred and ten years to be precise.

The only Olaraja mentioned by the plaintiffs before that interval was Ogitsi and Gbegbenu. All that plaintiffs were able to say of Olaraja Gbegbemu's geneology is that he is descended from Ogitsi. Talbot's book on "The Peoples of Southern Nigeria" - and observed that that book only shows that Ginuwa left Benin about to found an Itsekiri Kingdom and that nothing therein referred to by learned counsel dealt with how Okere was founded.

Since it is implicit in the second leg of the plaintiffs' claim that the defendants were in possession of most of the portion shown as Areas 'A' and 'B' in the land in dispute as indicated in the plaintiffs' survey plan Ex.

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He also dealt with that given in respect of the area shown as "Socio-Cultural Corporation Land" in the said plan. There is on the other hand no evidence that they are members of defendants' families.

Furthermore, plaintiffs' 6th witness did testify that the persons to whom the defendants granted leases in parcel 'B' were not necessarily members of defendants' families. I have earlier on stated the law as to where the onus of proof lies in this type of case.

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History of the itsekiri

Nation of people who are mostly located in the Midwestern part of Nigeria, Western Africa. First Published in Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

History of Itsekiri People - DELTA STATE - Page 1 of 1