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Why We Withdrew Case Against Impostor of Alternate Oba of Benin Kingdom- Edo AG



The Office of the Honourable Attorney General and Commissioner For Justice, Edo State, has given reasons why it dropped charges against one Rich Arisco Osemwingie regarding the Ogiamen Chieftaincy claims of beign the Emperor of Utantan Kingdom of Benin.’

In a statement issued and signed by the Edo Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Oluwole Osamudiame Iyamu, SAN, the AG, explained that it has become compelling to put the facts straight following controversies and half truths beign peddled over the matter

The statement reads: “It has been brought to the notice of this office that a controversy appears to have arisen (or been manufactured) arising from the recent exercise of the powers of my office in exercising nolle prosequi (or withdrawal of a criminal charge) in Charge no. MOR/148C/2015.

” In order to set the records straight and prevent people with a political agenda from misrepresenting the facts as they relate to this matter, it is necessary to recount the sequence of events that led to the current situation:

  1. Sometime in 2015, during a period of traditional transition in the Benin Kingdom, a certain Rich Arisco Osemwingie made claims in various newspapers and other electronic media to be an alternate Traditional Ruler within the Benin Kingdom and described himself as ‘Emperor of Utantan Kingdom of Benin.’
  2. The same claimant followed up this act by instituting an action at the High Court against (amongst others) the Benin Traditional Council, the Edo State Government and other traditional authorities in the Benin Kingdom, with a view to securing a court order to restrain the coronation of His Majesty, Oba Ewuare II as the Oba of Benin.
  3. It was my duty, honour and privilege as the then Solicitor-General of Edo State and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) to work alongside other Senior Counsel of Edo extraction who successfully combated and ultimately defeated this claim right up to the Supreme Court of Nigeria. The cost of the litigation was borne by the Edo State Government.
  4. As a corollary to the then ongoing civil claim in 2015, the Ministry of Justice through the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, filed charge no MOR/148C/2015 against the said Rich Arisco Osemwingie for the misdemeanor offence (as provided in the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law) of claiming or allowing himself to be referred to as a Traditional Ruler not having received the sanction of the law or recognition of the authorities to that effect.
  5. The purpose of the said criminal charge filed in 2015 was to bring maximum pressure to bear on the said Rich Arisco Osemwingie regarding the escapade he had embarked upon which we deemed at that time to be a clear and present danger to the peace and tranquility of Benin and the entire State.
  6. With the eventual dismissal of Rich Arisco Osemwingie’s claim by the Supreme Court, there no longer existed any legitimacy whatsoever for the claim of being a traditional ruler which had previously been pursued by the said Rich Arisco allegedly on behalf of the Ogiamen Chieftaincy Family of Benin.
  7. Furthermore, by a letter dated 4th of April, 2022 (seven years after the institution of the charge), the said Rich Arisco Osemwingie wrote to my Office formally and without reservations, renounced all claims of co-sovereignty with His Majesty, the Oba of Benin, all competition with the Palace of the Oba of Benin and vowed to “maintain cordial relationship for the peaceful development of Benin Kingdom and put an end to the legal tussles in various Courts.”
  8. In response to the said renunciation letter, I came to the considered view that the prosecution in Suit no MOR/148C/2015, served no further public policy purpose and therefore exercised my powers under the Constitution to put an end to same.
  9. It must be noted that a withdrawal of a charge by the Attorney General on grounds of public policy does not amount to an acquittal in respect of the charge in question and cannot be a bar to future prosecution if the subject either fails in his undertaking or continues in the commission of the offence.

For the education of those who might not be aware, the PARAMOUNT TRADITIONAL RULER in the seven Local Government Areas which make up Edo South Senatorial District is our revered monarch, His Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, the Oba of Benin.

It is within his Majesty’s prerogative to appoint and exercise authority over ANY CHIEF within his Majesty’s domain howsoever they may be called or described. It is not and has not hitherto been the duty or responsibility of Government to appoint or recognize CHIEFS within the Benin Kingdom outside the prescribed
authority of the Royal Palace of Benin.

The Edo State Government therefore has no recognition role in the appointment and activities of anyone claiming to be a CHIEF.
At the risk of repetition, that is entirely a traditional and cultural matter within the domestic authority of the Royal Palace of the Benin Kingdom.

This office will therefore appeal to all persons seeking to project an impression of conflict between the Government and the Palace on this issue and or any other issue for that matter to find other avenues to exercise their energy and imagination, as this office has absolutely no intention, desire or even legal responsibility in that regard.

On a personal note, it must be stated that the office of Attorney General as created by the Constitution has a long and distinguished pedigree in our State and I am proud to be a mere temporary custodian of the enormous powers granted by law to this office to protect and promote the common public good. I assure all and sundry that I do not take this responsibility lightly.

Honourable Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice,
Edo State.

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PDP Crisis: Ortom, Fayose, Anyim, Others Get Soft Landing



…..Party Rescinds Sanctions

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rescinded sanctions slammed on former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, and ex-Senate President, Pius Anyim, over alleged anti-party activities.

Benue Governor Samuel Ortom, Ibrahim Shema of Kastina state and other party Chieftains also sanctioned got soft landings after a crucial meeting of the national working committee of the party yesterday in Abuja

Recall that the party top shots were suspended by the embattled Iyorchia Ayu leadership over alleged anti party activities

But in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, yesterday Thursday, March 30, the party announced that its National Working Committee,NWC, has reversed the suspension of the party’s chieftains.

Ologunagba noted that the PDP NWC also reversed Governor Ortom’s referral to the party’s disciplinary committee.

He said: “The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at its meeting today, Thursday, March 30, 2023, extensively discussed recent developments in the party.

“The NWC recognised the imperativeness of a total reconciliation among party leaders and critical stakeholders for a more cohesive Party in the overall interest of our teeming members and Nigerians in general.

“Consequent upon the above, the NWC reverses the referral of the Governor of Benue State, His Excellency, Dr. Samuel Ortom to the National Disciplinary Committee.

“The NWC in the same vein reverses the suspension of the following members of our great party: H.E Ibrahim Shema (Katsina State); Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti State); Sen. Pius Anyim (Ebonyi State); Prof. Dennis Ityavyar (Benue State); Dr. Aslam Aliyu (Zamfara State).

“This decision is without prejudice to the powers of the NWC to take necessary disciplinary action against any member of the party at any time pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of the PDP (as amended in 2017).

“The NWC charges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party across the country to be guided by the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017) as well as the new spirit and necessity of reconciliation, unity, and harmony in our party at this critical time.

“The PDP must remain focused as we continue to take every necessary action to recover the stolen mandate freely given by Nigerians to our party and presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on Saturday, February 25, 2023, at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal,” the PDP spokesperson stated.

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DSS ING Alarm:Legal Means Can Be Deployed To Stop Tinubu’s Inauguration- HURIWA



Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), yesterday said there was nothing wrong in applying legal means to stop the inauguration of the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023 because the February 25, 2023 election that produced him is still being actively challenged in court by leading candidates in the poll.

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the so-called alarm raised by the Department of State Services (DSS) on Wednesday that some politicians are plotting an interim government should not be used as an obstacle to stop the petitions filed by Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) challenging Tinubu’s Victory

The DSS warning followed a petition by the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo that the DSS should invite Obi and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, over their rejection of Tinubu as the President-Elect.

Similarly, Atiku had earlier in March led a protest to the Abuja office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reject the result of the February 25 poll declared by the electoral umpire.

Both Atiku and Obi alleged electoral malpractices in the poll and are in court to challenge the declaration of Tinubu as President-Elect by INEC.

HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The Department of State Services should not rope in powerful opposition forces such as Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar with a view to finding some frivolous charges to hang on their necks to frustrate their formidable petitions against the outcome of the February 25 presidential poll.

“The DSS must work for all of Nigeria and not work as errand boys of Tinubu and his allies who only recently made claims that some persons want to stop his swearing in. By the way, there is nothing wrong in applying legal means to stop his inauguration because the election is being actively challenged. Nothing should be used as obstacles to obstruct Obi and Atiku’s petitions.

He advised that ,“The DSS should go after arm smugglers, kidnappers, bandits and terrorists and leave politicking for politicians.”

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Edo NUJ Felicitates Arase Over Appointment As Chairman PSC



The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State Council has felicitated with Solomon Arase, a retired Inspector General of Police on his appointment as Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC).

In a statement signed by the union Chairman, Comrade Festus Alenkhe, the union described the appointment as well deserved.

The union expressed optimism that Arase will bring his wealth of experience to bear in his new assignment to his father land.

The union prayed God Almighty to grant him the knowledge and wisdom to reposition the Police Service Commission for better service delivery.

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