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Benin Palace War Against Hrh Prof. Gregory Akenzua, The Enogie Of Evbuobanosa - Nairaland / General - Nairaland

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Benin Palace War Against Hrh Prof. Gregory Akenzua, The Enogie Of Evbuobanosa by Easy4real10(m): 9:32pm On Nov 30, 2023
The unusual scenario playing out in Benin Kingdom between the Benin monarch against some Enogie on trump up charges has the attention of many many citizens of Edo south senatorial district and even beyond. The Gestapo style operation of the use of the police for personal vendetta by the Benin Monarch was brazenly demonstrated in the state capital on Friday 21st of November, 2023, when His Royal Highness, Professor Gregory Akenzua, a renowned Paediatrician and former Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin and also a former Pro-Chancellor of Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, was arrested in his bedroom by armed policemen from Zone 5, Benin City, early in the morning and driven straight to an Evboriaria, Magistrate, Benin City, for prosecution at the behest of the Benin palace.

Reliable sources revealed that the Enogie was to be remanded in Oko Prison while the Presiding Magistrate was to proceed on annual leave and the retired professor’s bail application would be heard by the same Magistrate on resumption from leave. That would have been a great and tortuous ordeal for the Octogenarian Enogie.

However, the recent incarceration against the Enogie met with a stumbling block as some well-meaning Edo citizens mobilized to save the professor from an orchestrated subterranean ordeal planned for him. After about two hours arguments and counter arguments in the court room, the Enogie, who is also a very senior member of the Benin Royal family, was eventually granted bail after he was arraigned in court:

“for impersonation and arrogating to himself the title of a traditional ruler in Edo South Senatorial District, an offence which is punishable under Section 20, Sub-section 6(a), (b),(c), section 20, sub-Section 7 and section 28, sub-section 6 of the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict NO. 16 of 1979.”

What the Enogie’s traducers, prosecutors and defamers did was to only quote the section of the 1979 EDICT that suit their whims and caprices to slander his unblemished character while undermining the section of the Edict that deals with who has the power and prerogative to suspend any erring traditional ruler or chief, and the processes for doing so. They know that the Enogie committed no offence and that the so called suspension did not follow due process. Such suspension is not only ultra vires of the 1999 Constitution as amended, and also a nullity. Nothing in the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Edict of 1979 empowers any traditional council or traditional ruler to suspend or depose any traditional ruler or chief. Part IV, SECTION 28(1) of the Edict states, inter alia:

'The Executive Council may withdraw the approval of the appointment of, or suspend, or depose, any traditional ruler, regent, traditional chief, or any honourary chief whether appointed before or after the commencement of this law, if it is satisfied that such withdrawal, suspension, or deposition is required according to customary law or is necessary in the interest of peace or order or good government'.

From the foregoing, it is clear that no traditional council or traditional ruler has the authority to suspend or depose any traditional ruler or chief that has been gazetted by the government. That authority is the exclusive preserve of the state executive council headed by the Governor of the State.

It is pertinent and on point here to state that the only thing the Enogie of Evbuobanosa is being maligned for is that he is one of the 85 Enigie in Edo south senatorial district who wrote a letter in November, 2022, to the governor requesting for the constitution and inauguration of the Traditional Councils in the seven local government councils in Edo South Senatorial District.

The letter also requested that the statutory allocation to the councils be paid directly to the seven traditional councils as required by law.

Before the ascension to the throne by the present Benin monarch, Oba Ewuare II, Enigie and Palace chiefs used to receive stipend from the government through the Benin Traditional Council but since the past seven years, no Enogie or Palace chief has received a kobo from the council, even though monthly allocation is paid to the Benin Traditional Council (BTC). The palace has appropriated all monies paid to the Benin Traditional Council. Last year alone, the Benin Traditional Council received more than one Billion Naira. This has been so for the past seven years without payment of stipends to Enigie and Chiefs.

The Enogie of Evbuobanosa, HRH Professor Gregory Akenzua was illegally and unconstitutionally suspended on the 2nd April, 2023, by the Oba of Benin, at a so-called “Open mediation gathering" in the palace after the Benin Monarch surreptitiously instigated some of the elders and youths in the community to level spurious and unfounded allegations against him. He was not given any chance to defend himself.

THE Enogie of Egbaen-Siluko road, HRH Edomwonyi Iduozee Ogiegbaen was earlier, in a similar faction, suspended illegally and unconstitutionally without due process and up till now he has not been given opportunity to defend himself of the false allegations leveled against him. Suspension as we know it, is usually for a short period for investigation of the allegations made against someone. It is almost a year now since the two Enigie were suspended illegally and unconstitutionally.

The fact that the two Enigie were not given the opportunity to defend themselves negates the principles of fair hearing and natural Justice as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. The two Enigie hold traditional titles that are hereditary and are subject to the rule of primogeniture. Customarily, in Benin, any title holder whether hereditary or non hereditary cannot be stripped of the title conferred on him. If he commits an offence, he may be asked to stay away from the palace but he is never stripped of his title. The title remains with him for life. In the case of hereditary title holders the title devolves on the first male child on death.

Enigie are not enemies of the Oba as they recognize his suzerainty over the entire Benin kingdom. They want to serve the Oba in the most loyal way, but a situation in which Enigie are treated like slaves leaves a lot to be desired. Since the advent of the present dispensation Enigie are made to remove their headgears and kneel for 2 to 3 hours while addressing the Oba; and on the slightest provocation some Enigie have been disrobed publicly and made to go home with only underwear. It appears that there is a grand design to humiliate, subjugate and reduce Enigie to nonentities, and this has never happened in Benin history.

The recent practice of Oba Ewuare II to withhold approval indefinitely for the eldest son of a deceased Enogie to assume the title of the deceased father which automatically devolves on him after performing the required funeral obsequies has never been the practice in the annals of Benin kingdom. There are currently about 12 heirs apparent who have completed the funeral obsequies of their fathers, some over five years now, but are put in abeyance for no apparent reasons even though SECTION 22 SUBSECTIONS (5), (6), (6a) and (6b) of the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law clearly state that such approvals should not be withheld and in the event of being withheld, the Executive Council can intervene to review such decisions to withhold approval and substitute its own decision thereon. Strangely, some Enigie who were recently installed were taken to several shrines all over the kingdom and were compelled to swear to oath of allegiance to the Oba instead of the usual ceremonial pledge of loyalty (Igbeken). This has never been the practice in the kingdom from time immemorial. These are practices designed to humiliate and intimidate the Enigie and also their forced loyalty.

Recently, the heir to the Dukedom of Ugo N’ Eki was invited to the palace and was handed over to the police at Oba Market Police Station for detention over false allegation of installing himself as Enogie.

Leadership, whether political, traditional or communal is derived from the people and as such must be responsive to the yearnings and aspirations of the people. All traditional title holders, such as Obis, Emirs, Obas and the likes, are subject to modern laws in a democratic dispensation and none of them can appropriate absolute power to themselves to determine the destiny of others. The scenario playing out today in Benin kingdom prominently, almost with prognathous tendency, represents an atavism that hinted on something bearing semblance to the 15th century unacceptable practices regenerated in the 21st century. Is this a case of the more civilized a society is, the more susceptible it is to its buried atavism?

Enigie in Edo South are not seeking to undermine the authority of the Benin monarch as the roles prescribed for them in the 1979 Edict do not run counter to his prescribed power. The functions of the traditional councils established for each Local Government Council Area are spelt out in PART V11 of the Edict thus:
[a] to formulate general proposals by way of advice to the local government;
[b] where applicable, to harmonise the activities of such local government
through discussion of problems affecting them generally and by giving
advice and guidance thereon to such local government;
[c] where applicable, to co-ordinate development plan of such local governments by joint discussion and advice;
[d] where requested by the Executive governor, or as the case may require, by one or all the local governments in its area, to assist in the assessment of rates in consultation with such local governments in the area and their subsequent collections;
[e] to give support in arts and culture;
[f] to assist in the maintenance of order;
[g] to advice on any matter referred to it by the state or Federal government;

[h] to make representation or express opinions to the state government or
any other organizations on behalf of the local government;
[j] to advice on questions relating to chieftaincy matters and control of traditional titles.

The erstwhile absence of traditional councils in the LGAs of Edo South is the major reason local government headquarters in Edo South, such as Iguobazuwa, Abudu, Idogbo, Ehor, Egor, and Okada, are not at par with Ekpoma, Uromi, Ubiaja, Ewohinmi, Igueben, Irrua, Auchi, Fugar among others in Edo Central and North senatorial Districts.

Eguagie Edoimioya
President, Edorodion Union
Re: Benin Palace War Against Hrh Prof. Gregory Akenzua, The Enogie Of Evbuobanosa by FreeStuffsNG: 11:29pm On Nov 30, 2023

Seems all is not well with biniland.

Octogenarian , accomplished Elderstatesman being locked up and publicly humiliated by his own nephew , subjects, police, magistrate is not acceptable but with bini history revisionists, you never can say o, anything can happen.

The best thing to do now is to await the court outcome since the cases are already in court.

This kind of anti-Oba of Benin 'sponsored post' from his own people is to deliberately take the case to the court of public opinion, report him as overbearing and may or may not work against those seeking justice. They should follow this up with petition to the Edo state government, the Edo State House of Assembly ,the National Assembly and NJC to look into the issue independently while the Oba of Benin's side too is heard.

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