Sacrilege As Over 100 Priests, Priestess, Palace Chiefs Storm Edo High Court Over Suit Against Oba

May 10, 2024 - 12:01
May 10, 2024 - 12:16
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Sacrilege As Over 100 Priests, Priestess, Palace Chiefs Storm Edo High Court Over Suit Against Oba

From Imafidon OSAZUA (Benin) 

Over 100 priests, priestess and palace functionaries stormed the the Edo State high court chanting curses against the enemies of the Oba at the resumed hearing of the case instituted by suspended Enigie (Duke) in Benin against Oba Ewuare II.

Two suspended Enigie (Dukes of Evbuobanosa) and Egbaen Siluko Dukedoms in Benin Kingdom, Professor Gregory Akenzua, and Chief Edomwonyi Ogiegbaen had on behalf of some others, sued the Oba at Edo State High court, challenging their suspension from offices.

Also, the duo on behalf of others, had claimed that it is only the State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and not the monarch who pronounced them suspended for rebelling against the monarch could remove them from their positions.

The High Court admitted the Benin Traditional Council, BTC as a party in a suit instituted by suspended (Enigie) Dukes in Benin, against Omo the Oba.

Ruling in a motion on Thursday, Justice Peter Akhihiero granted the 1st Defendant to include the Benin Traditional Council as the 3rd Defendant in the suit marked, B/250os/2023, while Oba Ewuare II and Edo State Government, are the 1st and 2nd defendants respectively.

The ruling was in response to an application filed by the 2nd Defendant Counsel lead Counsel, Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George, SAN, Prof. Edoba Omoregie and his team against the Claimants, Prof. Gregory Akenzua, and Edomwonyi Ogiegbaen who both took the Oba of Benin to court over their suspension as Dukes of Evbuobanosa and Egbaen Siluko Dukedoms in Edo South Senatorial District by Oba Ewuare II in 2023.

Justice Peter Akhihiero directed parties in the suit, Edo State Government represented by the State Attorney General and State Commissioner for Justice, Oluwole Iyamu, SAN, Oba Ewuare II, Prof. Gregory Akenzua and Edomwonyi Ogiegbaen, who were both represented by their counsels led by Dr. Osagie Obayuwana who had objected to the motion through the counsel of Oba Ewuare II, to amend their relevant documents in the case to reflect the decision.

While other parties in the suit aligned with the position of Oba Ewuare II Counsel to join Benin Traditional Council, BTC in the suit, but the Claimants Prof. Gregory Akenzua and Edomwonyi Ogiegbaen through their Counsel, Dr Obayuwana Prayed the Court not to list the Benin Traditional Council, BTC as a party in the suit and urged the Court to award Cost against Oba of Benin in favour of the Claimants.

But, Justice Peter Akhihiero, turned down the prayers, and held that Obayuwana should not worry about the timing, insisting that, "The race is not for the swift, or the battle for the strong".

"If they are bringing in the Traditional Council as necessary, I don't see this as a problem since you people have brought the Oba to court.

"I don't think I can shut down any party. Let them come in and file their processes", Justice Akhihiero said, and adjourned hearing in the case to July 15, 2024 in the absence of any injection.

There was heavy presence of security personnel at the premises of the State High Court Complex on Sapele Road in Benin City.

However, all those who came to the court in solidarity with the Oba were not allowed into the court due to their large numbers.

Groups and Edo sons and daughters, including members of the Royal family and Chiefs displayed affection and solidarity for the Oba.

[5/9, 20:16] Ehis Nan Benin 1: The Youth leader of the Labour Party in Edo State, Ken Imusi on Thursday declared himself the acting chairman, stating that the state executive committee of the party has been dissolved.

Imusi said the exco was not interested in building the party hence the need to dissolve it and chart a new course for the party.

He said, "I, Ken Imusi is now that acting chairman of the Labour Party in Edo State and the exco has been dissolved.

"The former exco are not interested in building the party. The party is suppose to be for the masses but it is obvious that money is playing a major factor.

"A certain aspirant spent thousands of dollars during the primary. This is not the LP of our dream, so the exco has to be dissolved. They are not suspended and there are still members of the party. If they are interested in contesting for their previous post, they should go and purchase the form.

"We have a three man committee from the state to the ward level who will conduct free and fair congresses. We are only waiting for ratification by the national body that will announce the date for a new congress.

"The rate they (exco members) are going, we will not win the governorship election in September. We had 23 aspirants, I can tell you that non of them is with the party now. People can be aggrieved but the exco should find a way to unite everybody but they are busy suspending members via WhatsApp. Is that how to run a party?

"The exco came into power in 2016 and since our tenure ended, we have been getting six months extension. We were left at the helms of affairs because we were still building the party.

"At that time, only four of us were elected and others were co-opted, but those co-opted are the ones now dictating for everyone in the party. Now is the time to have a new exco so that the party can become vibrant again."

Continuing, Ogbaloi stated that the grievances of the youth leader and his group would be looked into and resolved to bring unity back to the party.

He added, "The youth leader cannot take over as the chairman. I Kelly Ogbaloi, remain the substantive chairman of Labour Party in Edo State, the state executive council remain intact and it has not been dissolved. The legal competence to dissolve a state exco lies in the National Working Committee of the party.

"What they are doing is illegal and I am sure they know this.

"The youth leader is my young friend and a good member of the party. I know that there can be some disagreement which he is protesting but once I am back to Benin, we will call a meeting and Labour Party will fall on one path again.

"If the exco's tenure has ended as he claimed, he is also part of the exco. It is not his duty to recognize that as it is still the duty of the NWC to recognise that and direct the next line of action.

"This is a critical time in the electioneering process and that is why I said that the moment I am back in Benin, we will find a solution and not pursue issues that can disintegrate the party. This is an important time for us as a party and we must unite ahead of the election," Ogbaloi added.