A Warri based legal practitioner, Pa. Magnus Atie, has stated that there was actually a curse imposed by the Late Olu of Warri, His Royal Majesty, Ogiame Erejuwa II, and the former Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Oba Akenzua II on Warri kingdom and the Nigeria Government during their reign.
The elder statesman and legal practitioner was an interpreter at the Justice Omosun Commission of Inquiry that brought Olu Erejuwa II back to the throne then.
He was reacting to an exclusive interview granted to TELL by the Esongba of Benin kingdom, Chief David Edebiri, debunking Atuwatse III claims and pronouncement on his coronation speech.
Chief Edebiri, in the exclusive interview with TELL, as reaction to the Olu of Warri’s speech, claimed that there was nothing like that because he was not aware of it.
He said, “NO, Akenzua” cannot do that; not my Oba. I was almost like a political aide to Oba Akenzua II, so there is nothing like that. I didn’t hear about it, and I don’t know about it. Even when Oba Erejuwa II came to Benin sometime in the 1940’s when the Benins were at loggerheads with their Oba to come and plead with Benin people, I was a small boy but I was in the palace. I didn’t hear about any curse”
But Pa Atie stated that, as a young clerical officer in the ministry of Justice in Benin then, he was the interpreter at the commission set up to the Itsekiri witnesses like the late Ekpede Emiko and Mr Moju Igbene and others at the commission of inquiry who came to give evidence on the deposition to Ogbesse of the Warri Monarch.
He asserted, “At the time, Lt. Colonel David Ejoor was the Military Governor of Bendel State in the Mid-western region, and as a result of the petition to him by the monarch, Olu Erejuwa II, Lt Col Ejoor set up a commission of which I was the interpreter to look into the petition and, it is known as the Justice Omosun’s Commission of Enquiry to look into the case and make recommendation.”
According to Pa Atie, It was based on the recommendation that the Military Governor reinstated the monarch back to his throne contrary to the insinuation from some quarters that Ejoor did the Itsekiri a favour by reinstating the Mornach, Olu Erejuwa II.
In his words, “Confronted with the ordeal of Dethronement and exile, Erejuwa II cried to his Royal brother, Akenzua II and both discussed in their closet and took a decision and invoked a curse on Warri and Nigeria.”
While wondering why Chief Edebiri would expect the duo Royal brothers to divulge to him the content or outcome of their meeting, the elder statesman said, “he might blow it out of proportion and context,” even as he positioned that Edebiri was made chief only after the demise of Oba Akenzua II.
Pa. Atie said, “The secretary of the judicial commission of inquiry was one Mr. Gbegbaje and that the report of the commission can be gotten from the Benin Archive.”
He said someone like Chief Osula, the Arala of Benin who was a Chief under Oba Akenzua II should be able to speak on the matter and not Edebiri