Humphrey Omo-Osagie was an influential Benin politician and an outstanding political campaigner who was a leading personality in the movement for the creation of the Mid-West State. He was a member of the Western House of Assembly from 1947-1954 and from 1954 to the first republic, he was a federal parliamentarian. While serving the Benin Central district in the House of Parliament, he was a parliamentary secretary to the ministry of Labour and later Finance. He was also a minister of state for Finance without cabinet rank in the early 1960s.
Osagie was born in Benin to a prestigious Benin family, his great grandfather was Iyase N'Ohenmwen and his father was from the Ezomo family. He attended Government School, Benin and later King's College, Lagos.
In 1953, he led a new Midwestern party, Otu-Edo which was dominated by non members of the reformed Ogboni, the new party was able to deliver majority votes in Benin city to the party's larger affiliate, the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC). His Benin residence, named Osana House was a beehive of political activity during the pre-liberation and liberation period and he was sometimes called B 2 after the license plate of a car he drove. (2)
At the onset of the Midwest region in 1963, the choice of premier was between, Osadebey and Omo-Osagie, with Festus Okotie-Eboh an ally supporting Osagie but the NCNC went with Osadebey.(1) During and after the 1964 elections, the leading party, N.C.N.C. was however split into two factions, with the NNDP drawing prominent NCNC members in the Western region, the Midwest became divided between the Dennis Osadebey group and the Omo-Osagie group.
Some of his property was confiscated in 1966 and he was also arrested only to be released later. John Odigie-Oyegun, the Edo State governor in 1992 later restored his belongings.
1959 Benin Central parliamentary election
- Omo Osagie NCNC - 24,434
- A. Owagboe AG - 10,812
- What I Said......
- Richard Sklar. Nigerian Political Parties: Power in an Emergent African Nation