The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, yesterday, announced the ban of his former Omuada, (Palace Head Servant), Roland Ogbebor, for allegedly impersonating the Palace and for his involvement in other “sacrilegious acts”.
Ogbebor’s ban the Palace said, followed his alleged involvement in the installation of Enogie, Ohen and Okao in Benin kingdom after he had been relieved of his position by the Benin monarch in 2018.
Besides, the former Omuada was also alleged to have been Involved in land grabbing, extortion, intimidation, impersonation and fraud, after his 2018 suspension.
The Secretary, Benin Traditional Council (BTC), Frank Irabor who formally announced the ban at press a conference at the Oba Palace on behalf of the Omo N’Oba, said the ban “extended to his participation at all Oba Palace traditional establishments and functions, including spiritual groups, activities, festivals, shrines and, oguedion in Benin Kingdom”.
He said since his suspension as the Omuada, Ogbebor had been acting “as a wolf in sheep clothing and confidence trickster”, just as he added that the former Omuada was also involved in “abominable and sacrilegious” act of parading himself as the second in command to the Benin monarch.
“Furthermore, he paraded himself as deputizing for Palace Authority to the extent of being addressed in an abominable manner as the second in command to His Royal Majesty. This is sacrilege and abomination, punishable by customary laws of our tradition. This manner of address is tantamount to equating himself to the God King”.
Irabor stated that it amounted to sacrilege for a Benin subject to imitate the king (Ovientaba), toe the footsteps of the King (Ovienzowoba), engage in rivalry with the King (Auguobatakpen) and be crowned an Oba (Ovienrioba).
He said the banned Omuada “has also behaved in treacherous ways to the Throne that is akin to being a traitor. He has been able to do this by disguising himself as a wolf in sheep clothing and confidence trickster. He was of the opinion that his services to the Throne were indispensable. He started behaving like what the Benin called ‘Okpokha Nemoba’_ who thought that the system cannot function without him”.
The BTC Secretary disclosed that there was an ongoing overhauling of the palace administrative system that would put an end to such act exhibited by Ogbebor and urged members of the public who might have issues with Ogbebor that had to do with land grabbing to report to concerned security agencies and also put the Palace in copy.
He directed that all Ohen and Okao so installed by the banned Omuada “must present themselves in the Palace if they are innocent and pray to be exonerated”, stressing that ” the permission for Enogie, Odionwere, Ohen and Okao to be installed is given directly by the Oba of Benin with the chiefs, Palace functionaries and members of the relevant community present in small ceremony in the Palace of the Oba of Benin.
“Finally, any person or village or community that has issue with Roland especially on land grabbing, extortion, intimidation, impersonation and fraud, is strongly advised to send written complaints to the Secretary, Benin Traditional Council, or the Police, or Department of State Services and, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, copying Benin Traditional Council”, Irabor said.
The press statement was signed by Chief Edionwe Oliha (Oliha of Benin Kingdom), Chief Norense Ozigbo-Esere (Osuma), Chief Stanley O. obamwonyi (Esere), Chief Ekhorovbiye Oviasogie (Eribo), Chief O. Edomwandagbon (Obazuaye) and Chief Osemwonta Obamwonyi (Eguezigbon).