Libel, Intellectual Theft: High Priest Ebohon demands retraction, apology


Aug 13, 2023

Mercy Onyenweli

A renowned advocate of African Traditional Religion in Benin, High Priest Osenwegie Ebohon of the Ebohon Cultural Centre, Benin City has accused one Monday Edo of intellectual theft of his musical work, titled ‘Ovonramwen n’Ogbaisi’ when he (Edo) featured in an Independent Television, Benin City discussion programme

High Priest Ebohon who made his marks in the history of Traditional African Religion and in the front burner of promoting the Benin culture across the globe, at a press conference in Benin City, explained that Monday Edo was only hired as a guitarist to perform with his Troupe ahead of a proposed tour to the United State of America which was later aborted.

After auditioning him, Ebohon said that he engaged Monday Edo on s monthly salary, but was later discovered to fall short of expectations, besides his moral deficiency.

According to Ebohon, “that you were cast does not guarantee that you are traveling with my Troupe, especially when you fall short of moral and standard.”

In a rejoinder signed by his lawyer, Barr. Osagie Obayuwana, Ebohon called on Monday Edo to within seven days retract his claim during the television programme and apologize for claiming ownership of the musical work Ovonramwen n’Ogbaisi.’

Monday Edo during the programme had referred to Ebohon as a ‘Marketer, not a musician or songwriter,’ who had not only exploited him, but in fact robbed him.

“You also said that in 1997, he promised to add you to his Ebohon I iematona theatre Troupe, then scheduled for a tour in America which according to you, discovered that it was a trick.

“You claimed that he asked you to compose the song Ovonramwen n’Ogbaisi and that he provided members, as many as 48 persons who chorused the song; you also said our client who you refused to mention his name had sent you to name personalities for purpose of your becoming more acquainted with the story of the subject matter of the song, Oba Ovonramwen n; Ogbaisi, Oba of Benin.

“On his instructions, we demand that you have to remove the offensive publication from Youtube on the same program ‘Break-Time Show’ on Independent Television and also publish a retraction of these highly libelous statements and apologize through the same medium within the 7 seven days, following your receipt of this letter base on which you should also place on Youtube, unless it is your preference that these issues be presented to a Court of Law without further reference to you.

“At stake is a claim for the damage you have maliciously caused him. It is for this reason that this letter is being copied to the management of Independent Television who lent their airwaves to you in facilitation of the injury you have caused our client,” High Priest Osemwegie Ebohon said through his lawyer

He used the occasion to call on Edo Artists who usually claim copyright of his artistic work to desist henceforth or face the repercussion as copyright infringement of his work will not be handle with kid gloves anymore.

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