The Benin Traditional Council (BTC), on Thursday, flayed the withdrawal of criminal charges by Edo State Governor, Mr.Godwin Obaseki, against the person of Arisco Rich Osemwingie, who is laying claims to the Ogiamien chieftaincy title in Benin Kingdom.
Addressing newsmen in Benin City, the Benin Palace Chiefs and Enigies led by the Iyase of Benin, Chief Sam Igbe, said that, “the Benin both at home and abroad have been very angry over the withdrawal of the criminal case against the said Rich Arisco Osemwingie and one other.”
Igbe, who frowned at the withdrawal of the case by the Edo State Government via a publication from the office of the Edo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, stated that the said Mr. Rich Arisco Osemwingie is not Ogiamien.
“We want to hereby state categorically, that the said Mr. Rich Arisco Osemwingie is not Ogiamien. He has no locus standi to claim or be addressed as Ogiamien, neither has he any right to the title of Ogiamien of Benin Kingdom. We are told that his relationship with the Ogiamien family is maternal and not paternal, hence, he has no right to, or say, in the Ogiamien chieftaincy title.” Igbe said.
The Benin Chiefs and Enigies noted that there was no proper consultation with the Oba of Benin’s Palace before the withdrawal of the criminal case.
The Iyase of Benin further stated that Chief Osarobo Ogiamien, is the existing Ogiamien of Benin Kingdom, stressing that the family of Ogiamien has not informed the Palace of his demise.
“We, the Benin Chiefs and Enigies will like to reiterate that the said Mr. Rich Arisco Osemwingie and one other committed a sacrilegious offence against the Benin Customs and Traditions and have been adjudged enemies of the Benin Palace and the Benin people in general.
“The Edo State Government has withdrawn the said criminal charges against Mr. Rich Arisco Osemwingie, but after due consideration, we hereby demand that Mr. Rich Arisco Osemwingie should tender unreserved apology to the Benin people in at least three (3) national newspapers and pledge his unalloyed loyalty to our only and indivisible Benin Throne, which is the Oba of Benin. This apology should be made within a reasonable time.” He said.