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Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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Olubadan: ‘No controversy over next in line’ — Ibadan high chiefs tackle ex-Oyo AG

Some high chiefs in Ibadan, Oyo state, have faulted Michael Lana, former attorney-general of the state, over his position that Lekan Balogun, former senator, is unfit to be crowned as the next Olubadan of Ibadan.

Saliu Adetunji, the Olubadan of Ibadan, died at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, in the early hours of Sunday and has since been buried.

Following the death of the monarch, Balogun who is currently the Otun Olubadan is next in line to be king.

However, Lana who wrote to Seyi Makinde, Oyo governor, said crowning Balogun as the new Ibadan would amount to a nullity.

He said the fact that Abiola Ajimobi, former Oyo governor, conferred the title of Obaship on some high chiefs and Baales and gave them the right to wear beaded crowns and coronets in 2017, has already disqualified them from becoming Olubadan as contained in the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration of 1957.

Reacting in another letter addressed to the governor, the chiefs through their lawyers, K. Eleja, Wahab Egbewole and Adekunle Sobaloju, argued that the letter by Lana, was not a true representation of the law and facts.

“We wish to state that the content of the said letter is not a true representation of the law and the facts on the ascension to the Olubadan stool and we have our client’s instruction to debunk the misconception and controversy being whipped up by the content of the said letter,” they said.

They stated that contrary to Lana’s position, the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration of 1957 does not disqualify anyone from becoming Olubadan because of a conferment of rights to wear a beaded crown as high chiefs of Ibadanland “as it is on record that none of the High Chiefs was at any point in time appointed or installed as Olubadan of Ibadanland or vested with the rights to wear a beaded crown as Olubadan of Ibadanland”.

“All that was done was to confer on the high chiefs the right to wear beaded crown pursuant to the enabling statute in this regard,” they said.

“The conferment of the right to wear beaded crowns on the high chiefs did not elevate any of the chiefs to the status of the Olubadan of Ibadanland as the Olubadan at all times remained the paramount king and ruler of Ibadanland with the position of an emperor and addressed as “His Imperial Majesty” while each of the high chiefs who are lesser to the Olubadan are referred to as “His Royal Majesty” and they remained in their respective lines and ranks on the Olubadan ascendancy chain and have always retained their respective positions as Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, Balogun of Ibadan, etc.

“The conclusion of Mr. Michael Lana is therefore self-serving, unfounded and a gross misconception of the purport of the restructuring of the Ibadan chieftaincy order by the previous administration in Oyo state.”

The chiefs also posited that the pending suit marked 1/22/2020 which the former attorney-general referred to “has nothing to do with the right of succession to the stool of Olubadan”.

“The suit was filed by the high chiefs and traditional rulers of towns and villages in Ibadanland to set aside the consent judgment which nullified the Gazette vesting on each of them the right to wear beaded crowns and coronets,” they said.

“The suit, therefore, dwells mainly on whether it was proper to divest the claimants of vested rights through a consent judgment entered into by their adversaries without any consultation with them or their consent.

“We unequivocally state that we are not aware of any suit or any order of a competent court of law as of today which restrains the Oyo state government from kick starting the process of filling the vacant stool of the Olubadan of Ibadanland or from approving the appointment of any person next in line of succession to the throne as the Olubadan of Ibadanland.

“We equally reiterate that there is no controversy whatsoever within the Olubadan in Council and the entire Ibadanland as to the candidate next in line to fill the vacant stool of the Olubadan of Ibadanland other than the unnecessary dust raised in the letter of M.F Lana Esq as we do not see how the judgment of the court in suit 1/22/2020, whichever way it goes, can in any way affect the right of the Kingmakers to select the candidate next in line to fill the vacant stool of the Olubadan of Ibadanland.”

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