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Over 100 Priests, Palace Chiefs Attend Court In Support Of Benin Monarch

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The Edo State High Court witnessed a gathering of over 100 priests, priestesses, and palace chiefs who passionately chanted curses against Oba Ewuare II’s foes during the hearing of the case filed by the suspended Enigie in Benin.

Prof Gregory Akenzua and Chief Edomwonyi Ogiegbaen, representing others, filed a lawsuit against the monarch at the Edo State High Court, contesting their suspension from their roles as Enigie (Dukes) of Evbuobanosa and Egbaen Siluko Dukedoms in the Benin Kingdom.

Furthermore, they claimed that only the State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, had the authority to remove them from their positions, not the monarch who suspended them for rebelling against his authority.

The High Court granted the Benin Traditional Council participation in a lawsuit brought by suspended Dukes in Benin against the Oba.

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Justice Peter Akhihiero approved the inclusion of the Benin Traditional Council as the third defendant in a lawsuit (B/250os/2023) initiated by Prof. Gregory Akenzua and Edomwonyi Ogiegbaen against Oba Ewuare II and the Edo State Government.

This decision followed a motion filed by the second defendant’s lead counsel, Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George, SAN, and Prof. Edoba Omoregie.

The court directed relevant parties to amend their documents accordingly. While some parties supported including the Benin Traditional Council, the claimants opposed it and requested the court to impose costs against the Oba of Benin in their favor.

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Justice Peter Akhihiero rejected the request and reassured Dr. Obayuwana not to be concerned about the timing, emphasizing, “The race is not for the swift, or the battle for the strong.”

He indicated that if including the Traditional Council was deemed necessary, it shouldn’t pose an issue since the claimants had already brought the Oba to court.

He expressed openness to allowing all parties to participate and file their documents.

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Justice Akhihiero adjourned the hearing until July 15, 2024, in the absence of objections.

A significant security presence was observed at the State High Court Complex on Sapele Road in Benin City.