Chiefs of Benin Kingdom from the seven local government areas that make up Edo South Senatorial District have disclaimed Rich Arisco Odemwingie and one other laying claims to be of Ogiamien family.
In a press conference held to air their objection to his claims, the chiefs said that the withdrawal of the criminal case against him necessitated their action as they would have acted a long while ago but had to hold back not to be charged for contempt of court.
According to the chiefs, “The Benins both at home and in Diaspora have been very angry over the withdrawal of the criminal case against the said Rich Arisco Odemwingie and one other.
“We want to thereby state categorically, that the said Mr. Rich Arisco Odemwingie is not Ogiamien. He has no locus standi to claim or be addressed as Ogiamien neither has he any right to the title of Ogiamien of Benin Kingdom. We are told that his relationship with the Ogiamien family is maternal and not paternal, hence he has no right to, or say, in the Ogiamien chieftaincy title.”
The chiefs asserted that in withdrawing the criminal case against Arisco, the state government did not consult with the Oba of Benin Palace.
Going further, the chiefs reiterated that Arisco and one other “committed a sacrilegious offence against the Benin Customs and Traditions and have been adjudged enemies of the Benin Palace and the Benin people in general.”
The chiefs demanded that Arisco “should tender unreserved apology to the Benin people in at least three national newspapers and pledge his unalloyed loyalty to our only and indivisible Benin Throne, which is the Oba of Benin. This apology should be made within a reasonable time.”
On Benin artefacts and Benin Royal Museum, the chiefs expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari “for his commitment in ensuring that the Benin artefacts domiciled in the various foreign countries are returned to their original home of abode, which is the Oba of Benin Palace.”
They reminded the state government of its pledge to support the Benin Royal Museum in Governor Godwin Obaseki’s 2019 budget proposal to the state House of Assembly.