Police quiz suspended traditional prime minister over alleged invasion of Olu of Warri’s palace
The Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 5 Command of the Nigeria Police with headquarters in Benin City, Edo State, on Friday quizzed the suspended traditional Prime Minister of the Warri Kingdom in Delta State, Chief Ayiri Emami, over the alleged invasion of the palace of the Olu of Warri.
Following the transition of the immediate past Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, in December 2020, the palace was reportedly invaded and the 400-year-old crown and symbol of the Itsekiri monarchy were declared missing.
Ogiame’s passage created a succession tussle in the kingdom, which eventually produced Prince Tsola Emiko, the son of Olu Atuwatse, as the chosen Olu-elect.
The police had in a letter of invitation dated Wednesday 21st, April 2021, said the questioning became imperative over the kingship crisis in the Warri kingdom, which had resulted in high-level tension in the town.
The letter, entitled: “Police Invitation Letter. Re: case of burglary, stealing, and conduct likely to cause a breach of peace”, was addressed to Emami, who was suspended as the Ologbotsere of Warri kingdom, in the wake of the crisis.
He was said to have been questioned alongside another chief, Macgrey Richmond, for over two hours at the AIG zonal headquarters before they were allowed to leave at about 1.45 p.m.
Speaking with journalists in Benin City shortly after the police invitation, Emami said he told the police that he knew nothing about the invasion of the palace.
“I was invited based on the incident in Warri and it happens to be the invasion of the Olu’s palace. I told them I knew nothing about that because I was not in town when that incident happened.
“It is about that laid-down procedure, which is one of the reasons I am here and I have told the police. The police have questioned me on that issue, what led to the invasion; I have answered that and other issues I can’t divulge.
“I did not sign any undertaken, all they asked was who invaded the palace and that certain things were missing in the palace, they wanted to know the whereabouts of those things and I told them what I knew.
“As a person, I, Ayiri Emami, cannot say that I am in support or not, we have laid down rules and procedures that the Itsekiri normally operate on, so the issue has nothing to do with myself.
“The person in question (Olu designate) is my brother; he is my friend, so, I have no personal issue when you say Ayiri is not in support, whatever we are doing as Itsekiri, there are laid down procedure and that is what I am trying to do so it is not that I am not in support in whatever they are doing.”