Benin City - The indefinite suspension of the Isekhurhe of Benin, Chief Nosakhare Isekhurhe, by the Benin Traditional Council took a twist on Wednesday when some senior chiefs from the palace of the Oba of Benin moved to his residence to take possession of what they described as the Oba’s “property”.
This came less than a week after the family of Iserkhure, Ihogbe N’ore, threatened to take a legal action against the council, if it failed to prove the allegations levelled against him within 14 days.
The council had, under the authority of the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, suspended the chief indefinitely for allegedly desecrating the title of the Iserkhure of Benin, among other allegations bothering on misconduct.
But it was learnt that the chiefs had arrived at the building located on Sakponba road, in Oredo Local Government Area, and asked the embattled chief to leave the frontal part of the building which they said housed some traditional items belonging to the monarch.
Chief Isekhurhe was said to have emerged from the building and queried the action of the chiefs before some armed security operatives from the Nigeria Police and Department of State Services arrived.
He was also said to have shut the door to prevent the palace chiefs from entering the building.
Some youths were later said to have been instructed to demolish portions of the building which bore the symbols of authority of the title of the Isekhurhe.
It was also gathered that there were plans to erect a perimeter fence around the building.
The incident temporarily grounded traffic as many motorists stopped to catch a glimpse of the demolition.
A top palace chief, who did not want to be named, described the development as part of the process to ostracise the Isekhurhe and recover the monarch’s property in order to prevent it from being tampered with.
He explained, “For now he (Isekhurhe) is completely ostracised. What you can see is part of the process of ostracising him. The real powerhouse, items that belong to the Oba, is here. Information reaching us is(that) some of those things were being tampered with.
“The Oba is the owner of that place; he magnanimously put him there to take custody of the place. He is like the sceptre bearer of the Oba. He (Oba) has asked us to secure the artefacts and possibly make the area formidable so that it cannot be broken.
“The Oba has already asked him to take possession of the extension he (Isekhurhe) built in there. But the original foundation of the palace guild should remain where it is; it is a monumental structure and we have to fortify it because of what it contains.”
The chief also accused Isekhurhe of allegedly chasing some of the palace chief away from the building with “an instrument”.
But Isekhurhe could not be reached for comments.
However, the chief added, “I think the process required has been concluded. Nobody ever raises arm against the Oba, even when he (Isekhurhe) was going out of his own way and raising an instrument pursuing some of the chiefs.
“He has locked the door saying we cannot go in. But we will get in there in a minute. That is the Oba’s property.”
The palace chiefs were still at the premises of the building as of the time of filing this report.