Former Imo Governor, Rochas Okorocha and the Obi of Obinugwu, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, clashed on Sunday aboard an Air Peace flight to Abuja.
The traditional ruler confronted Okorocha, the Imo West Senator, who was seated next to him.
DAILY POST gathered that Ilomuanya hit the politician with his stick in the heat of the argument.
The airline crew, led by the captain, had to re-seat Okorocha to forestall a physical fight.
Ilomuanya was said to have warned the lawmaker to stay away from Orlu, Imo’s second-largest city after Owerri, the state capital.
There are insinuations that the anger of the monarch may not be unconnected with his dethronement as the Imo Council of Traditional Rulers Chairman by Okorocha.
Ilomunaya was removed in 2011 shortly after Okorocha assumed office as the governor.
The case moved from the Federal High Court to the Court of Appeal Court to the Supreme Court.
In a 2017 interview with the Guardian, Ilomunaya had alleged that Okorocha was vindictive over a political decision the traditional rulers made before he assumed office.
“I must confess I have no personal problems with Governor Rochas Okorocha. I have no other option than to honour and respect his person and office. This I have always done, despite his calculated attempts to dishonour me.
“But what I oppose in all ramifications is Governor Okoracha’s dictatorial tendencies. He is playing the god in Imo. This is not good for our people. It is also not good for the image of Imo State.”
In late January 2021, some traditional rulers in the state expressed their preference for the return of Ilomunaya as the Chairman of the Council.
Speaking on their behalf, the traditional ruler of Okwudor in Njaba LGA, Eze Anayochukwu Durueburuo, told Governor Hope Uzodinma that his reinstatement will elicit joy among the monarchs and reinvigorate the “almost desecrated institution”.
Durueburuo noted that Uzodinma’s favourable disposition to their request would portray him as a respecter of the judicial pronouncements and the rule of law.
“Eze Ilomuanya has several court judgments directing his reinstatement as Chairman, an action which the Presidency, through the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) agrees with”, he said.