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Embattled Enigie Justify Dragging Oba of Benin to Court, Complain of Non-payment of Monthly Stipends - TELL Magazine

Embattled Enigie Justify Dragging Oba of Benin to Court, Complain of Non-payment of Monthly Stipends

Enogie Gregory Akenzua
Enogie Gregory Akenzua

The aggrieved Enigie (Dukes) of Benin Kingdom have defended their action in dragging the Benin Monarch, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare 11, to court, and their call for the establishment of Traditional Councils in the seven local government areas of Edo State, asserting that the court case was to establish the protection of their fundamental human rights. They said though they were not averse to peace, it must however be on the basis of justice.

Stating their position on Tuesday at a press conference in Benin City, the embattled Enigie also reiterated their earlier rebuttal of the alleged complicity of the state government and its agents in the lawsuit. They chided perceived supporters of the Oba for disrupting the sitting of the court during every hearing, describing their action as dishonourable and undignifying.

Contrary to the claim by the palace that they did not exhaust all available traditional means of conflict resolution before resorting to litigation, the Enigie insisted that there was no other traditional process known to them that they did not go through.

Speaking on behalf of the Association of Enigie in Edo South Senatorial District, Professor Gregory Iduorobo Akenzua, Enogie of Evbo-Obanosa who alongside Enogie of Egbaen Siluko, Edonmwonyi Iduozee Ogiegbaen, initiated the court case against the Oba, argued “There is no other traditional process that we know that we have not gone through. We are in court to establish protection of our fundamental human rights, and I want to also clarify the erroneous impression that has been created in the media that we are being used by some other people to challenge the palace; no. The case that we instituted for our own protection is against His Royal Majesty and also the government because the government is also expected to protect our fundamental human rights.

“We welcome the initiative of those who propose an amicable settlement of the dispute, and regret that comments by some palace chiefs, members of the royal family, and the Oba’s lawyers, not only do not augur well for the prospect of peace, but go against the legacy of Oba Adolo of blessed memory who was a champion of conciliation.

“We affirm that we stand for peace founded on decorum, integrity and justice. We are upholders of the tradition of our ancestors, and all we wish to do is to continue to serve our people in humility.”

He also said that the suit instituted by himself and Edonmwonyi Iduozee Ogiegbaen, was to uphold their right to fair hearing “which we believe every citizen is entitled to. On this, we do not think it is honourable or dignifying for those who claim to be supporters of the Oba to disrupt the sitting of the court each time the case comes up.”

The Enigie, in a press statement, chronicled the development that led to their calling for the establishment of Traditional Councils in the seven local government areas in Edo South which included non-payment of their monthly entitlements, non-installation of Enigie even after undergoing all traditional requirements, and several other issues.

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