21 September 2017

Nigeria: Olubadan Heads to Court As PDP Chieftain Says New Obas' Coronation a Fraud

Ibadan — The Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oyo State, Oba Saliu Adetunji, has sued the state Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, and 23 others over their involvements in the crowning of 21 kings in Ibadan on August 27 this year.

This came as Ibadan monarch also allayed fears of his subjects that the state governor was planning to 'punish' him for his hardline posture on the recent elevation of some high chiefs and Baales (village heads) to beaded crown wearing status.

The monarch told the visiting governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Femi Lanlehin, in his Popoyemoja palace Ibadan, that the governor remained his son and would never contemplate dethroning him from the stool of his forebears.

In the suit with file number I/1077/2017, which was filed at state High Court of Justice, the Olubadan is claiming that the governor violated Chiefs Laws CAP 28 of the state, saying Ajimobi does not possess the power and authority to confer anybody the right to wear a beaded crown and coronet.

The Olubadan is also claiming that the crowing of the kings is illegal and void since the governor did not consult with the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs

He is also seeking an order setting aside the Gazette number 14 and 15 of Volume 42 of August 23 and 24, 2017 made by the governor and which conferred the right to wear crown and coronet on the elevated high chiefs and Baales. He said the governor's action violated provisions of the CAP 28 of the Chiefs Laws of the state. The monarch therefore prays the court to set aside the installation of the new kings.

Senator Lanlehin had earlier told the monarch that all great sons and daughters of Ibadan at home and Diaspora are behind Oba Adetunji in the ongoing struggle.

Lanlehin further declared as illegal, the review of the 1959 Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration by Governor saying it is not grounded in history, law or reasoning.

Lanlehin, who is a senior lawyer and honorary title holder of the Bamofin of Ibadanland, said only a Chieftaincy Committee headed by the Olubadan, as the custodian of the tradition and custom of the metropolis, was empowered by law to propose any amendment to the Declaration after wide consultation, as contained in the Chiefs Law.

He said the change brought about by the outcome of the review by government was retrogressive and the process and procedure leading to it faulty.

"What the Olubadan is going through is not for himself or members of his family. It is on behalf of the whole of Ibadanland at home and in the diaspora.

"Olubadan is the custodian of a system that is the envy of all and sundry. Some of us have travelled all over the world and we know how very well they talk about the system in Ibadan.

"Not only am I a witness of this system, not only have I read about it, I am also a participant because my late father was the Osi Balogun of Ibadanland before his demise. I saw the peaceful, rancour-free and non-violent way the system has been operated for years and it has worked for us.

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