The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has denied ordering the humiliation and banishing of one of his chiefs from the kingdom.
Many have reacted to photos showing chiefs forcing a man without shirt identified as Dr. Ogiugo, said to be one of the chiefs, out of the palace for allegedly disrespecting the Oba.
Now the Oba has ordered an investigation into the alleged manhandling of the elderly man.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Desmond Agbama, the Oba dismissed the claim that the man was a Benin chief. He also said that though the elderly man was found with “abominable objects,” he (Oba) never ordered him to be manhandled. The statement reads:
“For the avoidance of doubt, the man in question is not a chief in Benin Kingdom as has been ascribed to him.
“The man came to the palace in the company of those who had issues to resolve at the palace but he violated the norms of the Benin custom and tradition and was found carrying on his person abominable objects forbidden by Benin custom and tradition,” the statement read in part.
“At no time did the Oba order the man to be manhandled.
“The persons who escorted the man out of the palace may have over-reached themselves in their efforts to protect the tradition and culture of the Benin people and the sanctity of the palace.
However, the Oba of Benin has ordered a full investigation into the incident.”