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Benin monarch bars former chief servant over alleged corrupt practices

The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has banned Roland Ogbebor, the former septre bearer to the monarch, otherwise known as “Omuada” in the Edo language, from participating in the palace’s traditional and spiritual activities.

The former carrier of one of the symbols of authority of the Oba, who was earlier suspended by the palace, was banned for allegedly parading himself as the second in command to the monarch as well as purportedly engaging in fraudulent activities bordering on land grabbing and extortion.

Briefing newsmen in Benin City on Tuesday, Frank Irabor, Secretary, Benin Traditional Council, said the ban was extended to his participation at all Oba palace traditional establishments and functions, including spiritual groups, activities, festivals, and shrines in Benin kingdom.

Irabor advised any individual or community that has issues on land grabbing, extortion, intimidation, impersonation, and fraud with the former chief servant to forward their complaints to the secretary of the Benin traditional council or other security agencies, including the Nigeria Police Force.

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“The Benin Traditional Council would like to state emphatically that there had been several verbal and written reports bordering on land grabbing and other fraudulent activities including extortion by Roland.

“Benin Traditional Council has reports that Roland allegedly gave express directives for Duke (Enogie), Chief priest (ohen), and okao to be installed, giving a false impression that they were directives from the palace.

“The general public is informed that the permission for Enogie, community head (Odionwere), Ohen and Okao to be installed is giving directly by the Oba of Benin with the chiefs, palace functionaries, and members of the relevant community present in a small ceremony in the palace of the Oba of Benin,” Irabor noted.

“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 an abomination punishable by customary laws of our tradition.

“He 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 opinions that his services to the throne were indispensable,” he added.

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