The History of Dagbala

Bookmark and Share

Last update June 30, 2020

Historical Background

According to achieves records Dagbala was founded by one Ogbonewa who fled from Benin after committing adultery with the wife of the Oba. The village was abandoned on the arrival of the Nupe, Its people taking refuge in various Okpilla villages and some are still at Oje. About 1890 it was settled on by Okaku and a few followers.

Dagbala is divided into four (4) quarters which are no longer territorial but which have not ceased to function as administrative units. They are called (a) Afeke (b)Osu (c) Iyase and (d) Onyiko.

Age group of the youths from 16-23 are formed every seven (7) years title age groups have the same names as Oja and  member ship is obtained in the same way except that of Dagbala, there is also an age qualification.

There are four individual titles which are as follows (¡) Okogbe (¡¡) Otaru (¡¡¡) Obolo (¡v)Ogisua and there  is one holder of each four(4)quarters . The Okogbe of each quarter is its head and is selected by the people of the quarter.

Women age-group are formed yearly at UKPE festival of girls married in that year. They are purely social and have no specific duties.

In the olden days their girls are betrothed at about four (4) or five (5) years of age and must go to their husband before first menstruation or their parents are disgraced. Widows were free to remarry  without refunding dowry if they are native of one of these four villages, but are inherited by husband brother if they comes from any other villages  but nowadays it is no longer applicable .

According Achieves records before 1860 civil and criminal cases were tried by the chief priest of the village and the senior title age-groups sitting in the home of the of the former.

All civil and matrimonial cases including adultery and criminal cases except, murder, arson, and manslaughter could be settled privately by the heads of the families concerned.

The villages of Oja, Dagbala and Ojirami formed a joint court for the trial of murder and manslaughter cases. They hold their sitting in the village where the crime was committed. Dispute as to fact was settled by oath on the staffs of the members of the senior age -groups. If both parties took the oath the case was adjourned until
One of them showed visible signs of the displeasure of the gods. Debt cases were enforced by giving permission to the creditor to seize goat. The value of which must be recovered by its owners from the debtor.

Crimes were punished as follows in the olden days:-
Theft: The offender’s age company seized and killed a goat, a cock, a hen either provided or subsequently paid by him.

Assault and wounding: The assailment is fined and a goat is required, to look after the complainant until cured.

Manslaughter: Carried no punishment but the family of the deceased must be compensated with two (2) slaves, one male and one female.

Murder: Were made to bury themselves alive and their family to provide compensation of two (2) slaves.

Adultery: The husband receives a dog or a goat and a fowl for sacrifice to his household gods. No punishment was entertained.

Note that all this are no longer applicable in this modern day.

Comment Box is loading comments...