Oba of Benin suspends six officials for impersonation while meeting Ooni of Ife 

The Oba of Benin in Edo State, Oba Ewuare II, has approved the suspension of six of his officials over alleged presentation of themselves to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, at a function as the palace’s emissaries.

The suspension of the palace officials was contained in a statement issued by the Iyase of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe, and made available to journalists in Benin City, the state capital.

Igbe, who signed the statement on behalf of the Benin Traditional Council (BTC), identified the suspended officials as Johnbull Igbinosun, Iduhonre (Ihogbe), S.E. Aigbiremwen, Efesieoghoba (Ogbelaka), Ogbeide Osagie and Osamudiame Edo.

According to Igbe, the officials were suspended for allegedly engaging themselves in a sacrilegious show of shame and falsehood against the Benin custom, stressing that the suspended officials did not only declare themselves subjects of the Ooni, but also rendered an inaccurate and disjointed account of the connection between the Benin Royal Dynasty and the Ooni-ship of Ife.

Igbe, who said that the suspended officials’ offence was contained in video clips making the rounds on social media, said that the palace considered their conduct as inappropriate, sacrilegious and calculated to ridicule traditional history, and to bring disrepute to Benin custom.

He said, “The attention of the Benin Traditional Council (BTC) has been drawn to video clips circulating on social media in which a group of self-serving traditional functionaries from Benin engaged themselves in a sacrilegious show of shame and falsehood against the Benin Custom.

“In the said clip, the individuals who have been identified as Johnbull Igbinosun, Iduhonre (Ihogbe), S.E. Aigbiremwen, Efesieoghoba (Ogbelaka) and two other Ogbelaka functionaries identified as Ogbeide Osagie and Osamudiame Edo were in the presence of the Ooni of Ife, falsely claiming to be emissaries of the Omo N’ObaN’ Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, His Royal Majesty Oba Ewuare Il, Oba of Benin.

“These individuals not only declared themselves subjects of the Ooni, but also rendered inaccurate and disjointed account of the connection between the Benin Royal Dynasty and the Ooni-ship of Ife.

“While the BTC does not wish to be drawn to restating the well-known connection between the two thrones of the Oba of Benin and the Ooni of Ife, the general public is urged to disregard the inaccurate accounts rendered by the ill-bred individuals named above.

“For the avoidance of any doubt whatsoever, the BTC advise the general public to avail themselves of the official account of the connection between the two ancient monarchies as contained in the authoritative book titled “I Remain, Sir, Your Obedient Servant” authored by His Royal Majesty, Oba Erediauwa, Oba of Benin (1979 — 2016), published by Spectrum Books/Safari Books, 2004 at pages 205-212.

“The BTC considers the conduct of these functionaries as inappropriate, sacrilegious and calculated to ridicule traditional history, and to bring disrepute to Benin custom.

“Consequently, on the authority of the Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, His Royal Majesty Oba Ewuare Il, Oba of Benin the Prescribed Authority over Benin Custom, the BTC hereby announce the suspension of the individuals mentioned above from their role as Benin traditional functionaries.

“The general public is advised to refrain from having anything to do with them as traditional functionaries in Benin Kingdom throughout their suspension.”