Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III reportedly died on Friday night at 83, spending 52 years on the throne.
He was said to have passed on at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State.
But shortly after the news filtered in, another report emerged, claiming that the palace had debunked the news of his death.
Several platforms, including some mainstream media outlets (not Daily Trust), consequently reported the death of Alaafin as “rumoured” and “fake news,” relying on a statement issued by Bode Durojaiye, said to be the Media and Publicity Director of the monarch.
The statement read: “It has come to the notice of the Office of the Director of Media and Publicity to the Alaafin of Oyo about a fake report making the wave in the social media, by a disgruntled group of bloggers, about the imaginary death of His Imperial Majesty, IKu Baba Yeye, Oba (Dr.) Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111, the Alaafin of Oyo.
“Members of the public are hereby urged to disregard the unfounded report , as the Paramount Ruler is hale and hearty.
”Precisely on Monday and Tuesday this week, Oba Adeyemi, accompanied by some of his wives (Ayabas), children, aides and well wishers was at the Durbar Stadium, Oyo, for physical fitness exercises as usual.
”He has neither fallen sick nor rushed to the hospital for any serious ailment, hence he and his family remain agile and active .
“The general public should not entertain any fear at all, as IKu Baba Yeye is healthy, physically fit and mentally stable.
Old statement quoted
However, checks by Daily Trust revealed that the purported statement was issued in December 2021 when it was rumoured that Alaafin had died.
Hence, the alleged statement making the rounds did not emanate from the palace on Saturday. It was an old press release issued about four months ago.
This fact check was done in partnership with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).