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Regional News of Thursday, 23 June 2022


You have committed sacrilegious offence - Oba of Benin tells Osemwingie

Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II

The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, yesterday, said Mr. Rich Arisco Osemwingie, has committed a sacrilegious offence against the Benin customs and traditions for unlawfully crowning himself as Ogiamien of Benin Kingdom, a Chieftaincy title in the Benin royal stool and thus, adjudged enemy of the Benin palace and the Benins in general.

This was contained in a statement signed by Chief Sam Igbe, the Iyase of Benin, Chief D. U. Edebiri, Esogban of Benin, Chief M. N. O. Ozigbo-Esere, Osuma of Benin and eleven other Chiefs of the palace for the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II and made available to newsmen in Benin City.

The statement added that Arisco acted in concert with another person whose name was not disclosed in committing the alleged sacrilege.

Addressing newsmen, Sam Igbe said the recent publications from the office of the Edo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice with regard to the Edo State withdrawal of the criminal case against one Mr. Rich Arisco Osemwingie and one other, necessitated the press briefing.

He explained that the Benin Traditional Council would have responded long before now but restrained itself for reason of contempt of court adding that now that the case has been withdrawn, they decided to address the general public via the press conference.

The Iyase stated that the Benins, both at home and in diaspora have been very angry over the withdrawal of the criminal case against the said Rich Arisco Osemwingie and one other, pointing out that the said Arisco Osemwingie is not Ogiamien and does not have locus standi to claim or be addressed as Ogiamien neither has he any right to the title of Ogiamien of Benin Kingdom.

Besides, he said Arisco,s relationship with the Ogiamien family is maternal and not paternal, hence he has no right to, or say, in the Ogiamien chieftaincy title, explaining that the Benin Chiefs and the Enigie were aware of Chief Osarobo Ogiamien, the Ogiamien of Benin Kingdom, who is a member of Uzama N’Ibie at the Oba of Benin Palace.

Chief Igbe stressed that Osarobo Ogiamien, is the existing Ogiamien of Benin Kingdom because the family of Ogiamien has not informed the palace of his demise.

He said the Benin Chiefs and the Enigie found out that there was no proper consultation with the Oba of Benin Palace before the withdrawal of the criminal case against them (Arisco and one other) but noted that the said press statement by the Edo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice re-emphasized that the paramount traditional ruler in the seven local government areas (Oredo, Ikpoba Okha, Egor, Ovia North East, Ovia South West, Orhionmwon and Uhunmwode) is the revered monarch-Oba Ewuare II, the Oba of Benin.

The Iyase stated that with the submission of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice that it is the prerogative of the Oba of Benin to give any chieftaincy title to whoever he deems fit, and the consequent withdrawal of the case by the Edo State government, the palace therefore demands apology from the said Arisco to the Oba of Benin.

“The Edo State Government has withdrawn the said criminal charges against Mr. Rich Arisco Osemwingie, but after due consideration, we hereby demand that Mr. Rich Arisco Osemwingie should tender unreserved apology to the Benin people in at least three national newspapers and pledge his unalloyed loyalty to our only and indivisible Benin Throne, which is the Oba of Benin.

“This apology should be made within a reasonable time. Oba gha tokpere. Ise”, he said.

Chief Igbe while thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for his roles in ensuring that stolen artifacts are returned to their original abodes, called on the Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, to fulfill his pledge of supporting the construction of the Benin Royal Museum instead of building another for which a part of the Benin Specialist Hospital has been demolished.