THE DEPOSITION OF THE ENOGIE OF UROMI : IT MAYBE US TOMORROW.
by Felix Osemwengie Isere, Esq, Cnarb
I woke up this morning to hear about the sad news of the deposition of Enogie of Uromi and this came to me as a huge shock. I have tried not to make any comment on this matter since he was suspended for assaulting a woman because of its sensibility but I am coerced by circumstance to speak on it knowing very well history will judge me if I decide to be silent or even take side out of political partisanship.
One of the reason why many people in APC accuse me of anti party activity is because I don't always support every action of the Edo State Government as everybody will do, this is because I have a conscience that I will not want to mortgage for party loyalty and my professional background as a lawyer who sworn an oath to stand on the side of justice, fairness and equity, and protect the Constitution will not let me keep quiet or take side with my party even when I know the action is wrong.
This action by Edo State Government to depose the crown king of Uromi , Oba Aslem Adonije after the woman he was accusd of assaulting has even apologize and mend fence with the Enogie of Uromi must be condemn by all of us, whether you are Benin or from Edo North because it may happen to your Oba tomorrow. We cannot adore,reverend respect and celebrate our king and support the humiliation of another, we can not see our oba as a Lord and see another one as a servant, we not see our our Oba as someone who is ordained by God and see another as an appointee of the Government, we cannot apply the ideal that the king does no wrong to our oba and see another as an exception. We must totally resist and condemn any act that will divide us as a people or denigrate our traditional institutions and make mockery of it.
We as a people who respect tradition should not be seen to be supporting this type of executive rascality. If this was the Oba Of Benin even if he kills somebody would the State Government even suspend him to the extent of deposing him? If this was the Otaru of Auchi would the State Government do same knowing well they are guided by the same purported weird law of 1979 which I think was even a photocopy of the Colonial masters Law which they used in deposing our obas .The Bible instructed us to do unto others the way we want them do unto us. If the woman that was allegedly assaulted has decided to apologize knowing very well the the tradition, what gave the State Government the moral and legal right to maltreat and humiliate him this way? Maybe there is more to this they are not letting us know. This is a case of sowing a seed of discord and disaffection among the people and hereby promoting ethnic antagonism and Ill-feelings. As a member of APC, I won't support this action and it will even become crazy for me to start celebrating it. What is wrong is wrong, we should not play politics with everything. The members of APC from Uromi and all stakeholders should as a matter of urgency call the government to order because this is not good for our state and not even at this time when the current government is about to leave the office.
The said Section 28( I & 2) of the Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law, 1979 relied upon by the State Government to depose the oba was misinterpreted in error and in mystery. The State Government only gave the law that gave them power to depose a monarch who was not crown by them but did not tell us under what grounds can they exercise such Power. The said Law is archaic , repugnant to natural justice, good conscience and good conscience . The oba was accuse of allegedly assaulting a woman and told to apologise without given fair hearing and this is a breach of his fundamental Human Right under Section 36 of the 1999 constitution, apology itself is a punishment for a crime and not and not a trial or a call for defence itself . The monarchy was by inheritance and confirmed by the Chiefs or whatsoever name they might be called in Uromi Land and not by appointment , and any Law that directly or indirectly either by expression or interpretation gives the State government the power to suo moto or arbitrarily depose a sitting oba for allegedly assault is void, mischievous and not certainly a good Law. The Oba is not immune from prosecution and if he is alleged to have committed and crime or offence, he should be arrested and tried in the regular court , If the State Government can do so, it is making the monarch an appointee of the government who will always dance to the tune of the government and can be fire anytime.
We must all rise up and condemn this executive rascality because it maybe us tomorrow.