Group petitions CJN over Benin chieftaincy crisis


A Non-Governmental Organisation, Paths of Peace Initiatives, has petitioned the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, to intervene in the ongoing chieftaincy crisis between the Ogiamien royal family and the Benin Traditional Council.
The PPI has specifically urged the CJN to investigate the matter and put a stop to the alleged harassment and violent attack on the members of the Ogiamien royal family by the alleged agents of the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II.
The NGO in its four-page petition jointly signed by its National President, Dandy Eze; its Director of Communication and Strategy, John Thompson; Segun Adeoko for Know Your Rights Initiatives and Tony Keroro, representing the Civil Liberties Organisation, demanded the immediate halt of the alleged attack and threat to the lives and property of the Ogiamien royal family by the Benin Traditional Council.
The PPI said, “We wish to bring to your notice for immediate action the gross impunity and collapse of law and order in the Benin Kingdom.
“The chieftaincy crisis in Benin Kingdom between the Benin Traditional Council and the great Ogiamien royal family of Utantan Bini has taken a dangerous and frightening dimension capable of causing total breakdown of law and order, if the actions of Benin Traditional Council continue unchecked without recourse to laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The Benin Traditional Council has carried out their illegal and dangerous activities with impunity and alleged complicity with the Edo State Government to subjugate, harass, intimidate, threaten and continue to embark on several attempts to take the laws into their hands.
It also called for the arrest and prosecution of all those who allegedly flouted the order issued by the Court of Appeal in Benin on October 6 2016 reserving judgm e n t a n d advising parties in the matter to maintain status quo.
The PPI also demanded, among others, “the maximum protection for the lives and property of the great Ogiamien royal family led by HRM Ogiamien Rich Arisco Osemwengie (JP), strict compliance to the rule of law by both parties, immediate investigation, arrest and prosecution of Chief Osamede Adun, his principals and those who perpetrated the act of violence in the premises of the Court of Appeal in Benin City on the 20th September and 6th October 2016.”
The NGO has also asked the CJN to ensure the “enforcement of peace and security in the Benin royal crisis between the great Ogiamien royal family and Benin Traditional Council by following the due process of law to ensure peaceful coexistence. It further urged the Edo State Government “to maintain absolute neutrality and respect for the traditional royal rights of the Ogiamien royal family and Benin Traditional Council.”
The PPI, however, warned that it might be compelled to take steps to “lawfully mobilise” to defend the Ogiamien royal family, if the alleged violation of its rights by the BTC continued.
The NGO, therefore, implored the CJN to “use your highly esteemed office to investigate this matter and stop the harassment, intimidation and violent attacks targeted at the great Ogiamien royal family.”