Court Remands Self-Imposed Monarch In Prison

By Jefferson Ibiwale, Benin 

The man who was last week controversially installed as the Ogiamien of Benin, Richie Arisco Osemwegie, has been remanded in prison custody by a magistrate court in the Edo State capital.

Osemwegie was arraigned before the court on Wednesday by the police on a six-count charge bordering on conspiracy and arrogation of traditional ruler title without the approval of the State Executive Council.

To compound his problems, the Benin Traditional Council on Thursday warned him to stop arrogating to himself the title of Ogiamien of Benin.

The council gave the warning while addressing the media at the palace of the Oba of Benin after it paid a solidarity visit to the Benin monarch, Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Erediauwa, who is legally regarded as the paramount ruler of the Benin Kingdom.

Led by Sam Igbe, the Iyase of Benini, the traditional Prime Minister, the council said Osemwegie’s actions was tantamount to rebellion and called on the people of Benin to remain calm as the matter was already in court.

Osemwegie, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had on September 9 been installed by the Ogiamien family as the new head of the clan with the title of “His Imperial Majesty, the Ogiamien of Utantan Benin Nation”, an action that did not go well with the state government.

The government issued a statement ordering the new chief to stop parading himself as such or face the law.



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