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Controversy trails selection of new Olubadan

A legal practitioner, Michael Lana, on Monday, wrote to remind the Oyo State government of the pending case on Olubadan kingship, thereby creating confusion on the…

A legal practitioner, Michael Lana, on Monday, wrote to remind the Oyo State government of the pending case on Olubadan kingship, thereby creating confusion on the succession of the Olubadan throne.

 The legal practitioner, a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Oyo State, said a pending case in the court has created a legal confusion, which the state government must consider in its quest to validate Senator Lekan Balogun as the next Olubadan of Ibadanland.

 The Olubadan-designate would be the first Ph.D holder to ascend the throne of Olubadan and is expected to succeed the late Olubadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, who died on January 2, 2022.

Lana said that Balogun, expected to be the new Olubadan, went to court to upturn the consent judgment that set aside the gazettes which recognised High Chiefs and Baales as Obas in Ibadanland.

According to him, the administration of the late Chief Abiola Ajimobi in 2017 conferred the title of Obaship on some High Chiefs and Baales, “thereby disrupting the smooth chieftaincy elevation of Ibadanland”.

Lana recalled that the rights given to the chiefs to wear beaded crowns and coronets were challenged by High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, upon which the court nullified the said conferment.

“Consequently, the Court of Appeal, in Appeal No. CA/IB/99/2018, set aside the said judgment on technical grounds, sending it back to the High Court for retrial,” he said.

The legal practitioner reminded Makinde that upon his assumption of office as the state governor, the matter was amicably resolved through the instrumentality of a Terms of Settlement, which became the judgment of the court.

According to him, the High Chiefs and Baales instituted two separate suits to set aside the consent judgment, while at the same time clinging to the title of Obas.

This, he said, amounted to Contempt of Court.

Lana particularly mentioned that “one of the cases was instituted by Balogun in Suit No. 1/22/2020-HRM OBA (SENATOR) LEKAN BALOGUN & ORS V GOVERNOR OF OYO STATE & ORS.”

He further explained that since the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration of 1957 was not amended, it, therefore, remained extant.

Under the declaration, he said that no Oba could ascend to the throne of Olubadan.

“In another words, as long as the High Chiefs were still clinging to the title of Oba, they could not ascend to the throne.

“Any installation of any of them during the pendency of that suit is illegal, null and void,” he said.

According to him, the way forward will be for the chiefs to withdraw the aforementioned cases or wait for the court to pronounce on them.

“If the court holds that they have the right to be Obas and entitled to wear beaded crowns, then they are perpetually barred from becoming another Oba.

“Nowhere in the Customary Law of any Yoruba town is an Oba elevated to become another Oba.

“If, on the other hand, the court holds the Terms of Settlement stand, and their Obaship title is illegal, then they are free to be elevated to the post of Olubadan,” Lana said.

Meanwhile, the Olubadan-in-Council has said it would soon announce the next Olubadan of Ibadanland.

 Reacting to some stories flying on the social media on the need to install another person as Olubadan, the Olubadan-in-Council said the council would follow due process to appoint the next Olubadan.

 A statement released at the end of a two-hour closed-door meeting held at the residence of Otun Olubadan, High Chief Lekan Balogun, on Monday, said members of the council would meet and announce the next Olubadan of Ibadan in line with tradition after the mourning of Oba Saliu Adetunji.

 However, the Osi Olubadan, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja and two other members of the council were absent at the meeting.

“Members of the council were elevated to the Royal Majesties status by the previous administration in the state led by the late Governor Abiola Ajimobi and it became contentious and litigious.

 “Olubadan-in-Council said the elevation granted the members, who also serve as kingmakers, had not in any way altered the age-long and enviable traditional succession plan to the Olubadan throne in Ibadan land.

 “There should be no controversy as to who becomes the next Olubadan amongst us as the previous elevation that made us Royal Majesties did not in any way affect our respective offices in the Olubadan-in-Council and would not preclude any of us to mount the Olubadan throne whenever it is the person’s turn.

 “We are the kingmakers and we will do the needful at the appropriate time. For now, we are still all in the mourning mood of our departed father and reverred leader in the Council and we just want to assure the generality of our people both home and in the diaspora that there’s no cause for alarm,” the statement read.

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