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Ogun monarch who sprayed K1 money suspended for naira abuse

The Olu of Owode in Obafemi/Owode Local Government of Ogun State, Oba Kolawole Sowemimo, on Saturday, confirmed his suspension for two months without salaries by the Egba Traditional Council over alleged abuse of naira notes.

Speaking with our correspondent, Sowemimo said the suspension was announced during the traditional rulers meeting on 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 had 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,” he said.

A viral video in early January showed the royal father decorating a popular Fuji musician, Wasiu Ayinde, with knitted new notes of N1,000 which was used as a garland to decorate the musician.

The council had moved against Sowemimo for publicly degrading Nigerian currency, an offence that contravenes the law of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He was reportedly suspended on Friday at the Egba Traditional Council February statutory meeting which was chaired by the Alake and paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo.

The meeting in a joint resolution adopted the suspension of the monarch following the recommendation of its Ethics Committee which declared that during the period of his (Sowemimo) suspension, he should not parade himself as a traditional ruler.

It was further gathered that the resolution emphasized that Sowemimo should not be invited or seen at any government or public function as a traditional ruler, and for three months should not receive any payments

The Chairman of a three-member Ethics Committee of the Egba Traditional Council, Oba Saka Matemilola, who read the report of the committee, said that the committee came to its decision after examining the viral video in which Sowemimo breached the ethics of a Yoruba traditional institution by defacing Nigeria’s currency.

The committee chairman, who is the Olowu of Owu, said findings revealed that the embattled traditional ruler was seen holding strewn naira as a bead and hanging onto the neck of a musician in public.

The chairman added that a lot of public condemnation of the act inundated the council with derisive comments on the traditional institution, stressing that the said Oba’s action is in contradiction of Section 21(1) of Central Bank Act, 2007.

The National Orientation Agency had also last month issued a strict warning to the embattled traditional ruler for abusing the naira notes during his 13th anniversary of ascension to the royal stool.

Reacting to the video in a statement signed and directed to the monarch, Director General, NOA, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said the display was an abuse of the national currency that attracts imprisonment, fines, or both.

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