Benin chiefs lose titles, barred from palace

The five Benin traditional functionaries suspended on Saturday for engaging in sacrilegious conduct against the Benin custom have been barred from the Oba of Benin’s palace.

The chiefs were said to have paid a visit to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, claiming they were emissaries of Oba of Benin, Omo N’ObaN’ Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, Oba of Benin.

They were also alleged to have pledged their loyalty to the Ooni after they “rendered inaccurate and disjointed account of the connection between the Benin Royal dynasty and the Ooni-ship of Ife.”

The Benin Traditional Council had in a statement on Saturday by the Iyase of Benin, Chief Sam Igbe, announced the suspension of the functionaries.

In another statement on Monday, the Chief Press Secretary to the Oba of Benin, Osaigbovo Iguobaro, said the functionaries had been stripped of their beads and barred from the palace as further disciplinary action for the shame they brought to the throne.

 “The self-serving traditional functionaries who engaged in a sacrilegious show of shame and falsehood against the Benin custom have been barred from Oba Palace in Benin City, Edo State,” he said.

He said the functionaries were made to appear before a committee headed by the Uwangue of Benin, Chief Ekhoerovbiye Oviasogie, and they admitted that they erred against Benin customs.

“The Uwangue of Benin, who described their action as a deliberate attempt to rubbish the Benin kingdom, pronounced the suspension of palace functionaries.

“Consequently, they were also stripped of Benin Royal beads, recognition as palace functionaries, and their traditional titles, which were handed over to the ancestors.

“The suspended palace functionaries were also barred from parading themselves as Benin palace functionaries and stopped from participating in any traditional rites in Benin.

“They were thereafter escorted out of the Palace by chiefs, including Ewaise (traditional seers) with occipital horns invoked ancestral spirits to bear witness,” he added.

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