Chief Nosa Isekhure, the isekhure of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria 1994 © Phyllis Galembo. Courtesy Phyllis Galembo and Steven Kasher Gallery Heroic Africans: Legendary Leaders, Iconic Sculptures” remains through Jan. 29 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Original Filename: Galembo 2 .jpg

I didn’t boast that Oba’s coronation can’t hold without me, says Isekhure

By Tony Ehighiale, Benin

Suspended Isekhure of Benin, Chief Nosakhare Isekhure, has denied allegations leveled against him by the Benin Traditional Council that he boasted that the Enwinekhua (funeral rites of Oba Erediauwa) and subsequent coronation of Oba Ewuare II could not hold without him.

Nosakhare was last week suspended from performing the duties of the Isekhure title for alleged desecration of the Oba of Benin.

The duties of the Isekhure were reversed to be performed by Chief Ihama, head of the Ihogbe Palace Society.

Chief Nosakhare has also given 14 days to the BTC to prove that he used his residence to review cases already decided by the Palace of the Oba of Benin.

He stated that he would have performed his expected roles during the Emwinekhua and subsequent coronation if her were invited to play the role expected of him.

He spoke through the Ihogbe N’ Ore family in a statement signed by its spokesman, Mr. Osagbakhoe Ogbemudia.

In the statement, the Ihama N’ Ore family said they would allow Chief Isekhure take appropriate legal action to redeem his image at the expiration of the 14 days ultimatum.

“Chief Isekhure is a lover of Benin tradition and custom. How on earth will somebody after getting judgement in the Palace where such a person did not pay a dime would turn to Chief Isekhure for another round of justices where such a person would be forced to pay gratification?

“This is a case of giving bad name to a dog so that one can have reason to hang such dog. To this end, we demand to see and verify the people that Chief Isekhure demanded money from so that members of the public will be convinced”.

Reacting to the allegation that Chief Isekhure allegedly used his position to collect kolanuts, monies and drinks to new Chiefs celebrating their investitures, the statement explained that new chiefs are expected to perform some rites as part of their investitures at some designated houses and shrines.

The statement said the rites started as far back as 1255AD during the reign of Oba Ewedo and such visits were accompanied with eigth kolanuts, a bottle of hot drink and 13 Shillings and 6 pence now about N2,000.

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