Oba Saliu Adetunji, Olubadan of Ibadan land has charged the Abiola Ajimobi the Governor of Oyo State and 23 others for installing 21 kings in Ibadan.
The People who joined in the suit against Ajimobi include Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy matters, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State, the Baales that were conferred with Kingship status, the eight High Chiefs that were elevated to Kings.
Olubadan stated that Ajimobi, the Governor of Oyo state does not have the authority and power to crown anyone King.
The Olubadan asked the court to set aside the crowing of the new Kings.
Oba Saliu Adetunji went on to say that the installation of the kings is illegal and is not effective since the Governor did not consult the Oyo state Council of Obas and Chiefs.
He maintained that the Governor’s installations of new kings violated the chiefs law of the state and provisions of the CAP.
The suit was filed in the High court of justice, Oyo state with the suit numbered1/0077/2017 on 19th September 2017.
Abiodun Abdu-Raheem, who is a lawyer to the king said:
My client had triggered sections of the state Chiefs Laws to challenge the defendants and that the governor did not fulfil the process as prescribed by the law before embarking on the review of the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration of 1959.
The governor exercised his power to elevate chiefs to kings acting under the provision of Section 28 (1) Cap 28 of the Chiefs Laws of Oyo State. The Olubadan is contending the fact that before you can exercise any power under the section of the Chiefs Law, you must as a matter of necessity consult with the Oyo State Council of Chiefs and Obas.
As far as the monarch is concerned, the council has not been holding meeting by virtue of the directive of the governor in 2011. Since the council is not sitting, the governor could not have consulted with it before going on to carry out the action that led to the crowning of the kings.
There is no provision that says that the governor can waive consultation with the council if it is not sitting. The law is clear on this matter. As it is today, the Olubadan of Ibadan land is the chairman of that council, even though the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, is contending that in court.
In the entire provisions of the Chiefs Laws, beaded crown is mentioned and not coronet which the government claimed that was given to the Baales who were elevated to kings. The government stated that it gave beaded crowns to the high chiefs and coronet to the Baales but there are no provisions for coronet in the state Chiefs Laws.
The issue of amending chieftaincy declaration of the Olubadan can only be done after certain requirements are fulfilled. The law says that there must be a chieftaincy committee to be set up by the governor before such thing can be done. But such committee did not exist. The law says such committee must have a recognised chief as the chairman and other chiefs as members. We want the court to determine if the committee set up by the governor had a recognised chief as its chairman and if the members were chiefs.
Olubadan also said that Ajimobi, the Governor of Oyo state should not contemplate on removing him for opposing him.
He said this when Senator Olufemi Lanlehin came to his palace on Wednesday. Lanlehin who is also a Lawyer when talking to the king said:
What the Olubadan is going through is not for himself or members of his family. It is on behalf of the whole of Ibadan land 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 to this system, not only have I read about it, I am also a participant because my late father was the Osi Balogun of Ibadan land. I saw the peaceful, rancour-free and non-violent way the system has been operated for years and it has worked for us.
So, for anybody to want to change it or thwart or make it retrogressive will not be acceptable. In any event, the law does not support the manner of change either by way of the process or the result. So, procedurally and substantially, it is wrong. The Chiefs Law is very clear. This law is about the declaration of each town. It is a Chieftaincy Committee that deciphers the customs and traditions of a particular people and codifies same and it is registered and thus become a declaration for the chieftaincy of that place
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