Ogun monarch suspended over naira abuse

The Olu of Owode in Obafemi/Owode Local Government of Ogun State, Oba Kolawole Sowemimo, has been suspended by the Egba Traditional Council over an allegation of abuse of the naira notes.

The Council, headed by Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo III, announced the suspension of the monarch during a meeting on Friday, February 16, 2024.

The naira abuse allegation emerged after Oba Sowemimo was captured in a viral video spraying money on Fuji musician Wasiu Ayinde, popularly known as K1, at a party.

As shown in the video, the monarch formed a long rope of ₦1,000 notes knitted together and wrapped around the neck of K1.

Following the development, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) wrote a letter to Oba Sowemimo in January, reminding him that his actions could earn him imprisonment.

While announcing his suspension, the Egba traditional council said findings proved that the monarch was guilty of publicly degrading Nigerian currency, an offence which contravenes the law of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The council said the suspension will last for two months without salary.

According to the council, the decision is in line with the recommendation of its Ethical Committee which stated that Sowemimo shouldn’t parade himself as a traditional ruler during the period of his suspension.

The resolution also stressed that the monarch should not be invited or seen at any government or public function as a traditional ruler.

Reading the report, Saka Matemilola, the Chairman of a three-member Ethical Committee of the Egba Traditional Council, said the committee arrived at the decision after carefully examining the viral video in which the oba breached the ethics of a Yoruba traditional institution by defacing Nigeria’s currency.

The chairman said the council had been inundated by public condemnation of the act with derisive remarks directed at the traditional institution.

While confirming his suspension, the embattled monarch said the decision “Was announced during our meeting yesterday (Friday), they said the suspension was due to the way I spent money on one musician.

“And when I was asked if I had anything to say, I stood up and apologised for whatever I have done wrong, and the suspension, which was earlier announced to be for three months without salaries was reduced to two months. I totally accept the verdict of the council because it is the person that we love that we chastise, so I am good with the decision.”

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