For burying their father, family members arrested in Edo

Oba of Benin

For disregarding a ban placed on burial ceremonies during the coronation of the Oba of Benin, some members of a family in Benin City have been arrested and taken to the palace of the Oba.

The family (name withheld) from Isi village in Uhunmwode Local Government Area was said to have  incurred the wrath of the Benin people on Saturday when they decided to go ahead with the burial of their  father.

Entertainment of guests was about to start at Iguodala Primary School in Benin when chiefs from the palace stormed the venue and tied ‘Umehe’ leaves, signifying a no trespass order by the Oba, on the food, drinks and canopies.

A musician engaged to provide entertainment at the event was also reportedly dragged to the palace.

Palace sources said the family members were asked to buy some sacrificial items to cleanse the land.

A member of teh family, who spoke with journalists, said they got clearance from some palace chiefs to go ahead with the funeral since the actual coronation had been concluded, adding that the family was not aware that the ban was still in place.

She said, “Three days ago, I reached the palace and I met some chiefs and told them that I have buried  my father and that I just want to entertain friends and well-wishers. They said I should go ahead and demanded chop money. I gave them N500.”

She, however, said she could not recognise the chiefs she met when she  visited the palace.

A member of the Iwebo Palace society, Chief Sunday Okhiokpamwonyi, said the family would pay some fine and postpone the burial.