Oba Kolawole Sowemino, the Olu of Owode-Egba in Obafemi/Owode local government area of Ogun State has been suspended by the Egba Traditional Council for publicly abusing the naira at a social function.

The Monarch, who was seen in a viral video decorating Fuji music ace, Wasiu Ayinde Marshal, popularly known as KWAM 1, with knitted N1000 notes, had earlier been cautioned by the National Orientation Agency (NOA).

According to NOA, the monarch’s action contravened Section 21 (3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 as amended, which stipulates that “spraying of, dancing or matching on the Naira or any note issued by the bank during social occasions or otherwise, constitutes abuse and defacing of the naira or such note and shall be punishable under the law by fines or imprisonment or both.

Oba Sowemino had thereafter apologized for the infraction, saying he was carried away in his bid to celebrate his wife.

The Egba Traditional Council announced the suspension of Oba Sowemimo following its February statutory meeting, which took place on Friday and was chaired by the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo. The council stated that it had adopted the recommendation of its Ethical Committee, which recommended that Oba Sowemimo should not be invited to, nor seen at, any government or public function.

During the period of suspension, which lasts for two months, the monarch will also not receive a salary.

Olowu of Owu, Oba (Prof.) Saka Matemilola, Chairman of a three-member Ethical Committee of the council, while reading the decision of the body, declared that the action of Oba Sowemimo breached the CBN Act and the Yoruba traditional institution.

Olowu referred to precedence where a citizen was arrested and prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and sentenced to six months imprisonment.

The Monarch said, before coming to the decision, the committee examined the viral video in which Sowemimo breached the ethics of a Yoruba traditional institution by defacing Nigeria’s currency.

Oba Sowemimo was seen holding strewn Naira notes as a bead and hung onto the neck of a musician in the public.

The chairman added that a lot of public condemnation of the act inundated the Egba Traditional Council with derisive comments on the traditional institution, stressing that the monarch’s action contravened Section 21(1) of Central Bank Act, 2007.

Reacting to the development, Oba Sowemimo said he abides by the decision of the traditional council, saying that “father chastised the son he loves.

Speaking with newsmen in a telephone chat, Oba Sowemimo said, the suspension was initially for three months, but “when I apologized, the suspension was reduced to two months”.

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