Traditional Chiefs drag Oba of Benin to Court

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In a shocking act of boldness, Two suspended Enigie (Dukes), Professor Gregory Akenzua and Chief Edomwonyi Ogiegbaen, have taken the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, to the state high court over their suspension from office.

 

The duo, representing others seek to contest their suspension from office, arguing that only the state governor, not the monarch, holds the authority to remove them from their positions.

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Filed under the suit marked B/250os/2023, the ‘Enigies’ emphasized that their appointments as traditional chiefs are duly recognized by the Edo State Government. They cited Section 25(2) of the Traditional Rulers and Chieftaincy Law, asserting their legitimate registration and status. Furthermore, they invoked Section 28 of the same law, which stipulates that only the State Executive Council possesses the power to sanction them in case of any wrongdoing, emphasizing that the Oba does not hold the authority to usurp the powers vested in the State Executive Council by law.

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The Benin Chiefs vehemently denied any wrongdoing, asserting their exercise of the fundamental right to freedom of speech.

 

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They referenced a letter penned to the state governor in 2022, co-signed by 94 fellow Enigie, advocating for the governor’s intervention to facilitate accelerated development in rural areas, particularly in the Edo South Senatorial District.

 

However, the response from the political arena has been swift. Dennis Idahosa, the representative of Ovia Federal Constituency and the deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), condemned the action. Idahosa urged the Bini people to remain composed and cautioned against the exploitation of emotions by individuals with purported “ulterior motives.”

 

In a statement personally issued by Idahosa, he highlighted past unsuccessful attempts to undermine the Oba and the Benin Kingdom.

 

He alleged that the perpetrators, having exhausted other avenues, have now enlisted the support of some Enigie in their quest. Idahosa reiterated his confidence in the resilience of the Benin Kingdom, pledging unwavering support and respect for the traditional institution if his party secures victory in the upcoming September 21 poll.

 

“History will never be allowed to repeat itself and as such, we must do all that is necessary, including guiding our utterances to avoid the pitfalls that they, the enemies have set against the Palace.”

 

“They have used other routes without achieving success in their quest to undermine our revered monarch; now, they have set some of the Dukes against the Palace.”

 

“Like I have always maintained and still do, they will not only fail on this court matter, they will run out of what to do to undermine the Benin kingdom”.

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