The Olubadan of Ibadan, Saliu Adetunji, has sued Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi and 23 others for crowning 21 kings in Ibadan land on August 27, 2017.
According to the monarch, the governor did not consult the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs before embarking on crowning the kings, thereby, making the exercise illegal and void.
Joined in the suit are the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, the local chiefs (Baales) and the eight high chiefs who were crowned kings.
In the suit, which was filed at the High Court of Justice of Oyo State and dated September 19, the monarch alleged that the governor violated the Chiefs Laws Cap 28, arguing that he has no power to confer anybody the right to wear a beaded crown.
The monarch, in the suit is seeking an order setting aside the Gazette 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.
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One of the representatives of the monarch, Abiodun Abdulraheem, said that sections of the Chiefs Laws had been explored to challenge the defendants.
He said: “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 meetings, 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 is the chairman of that council, even though the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, is contending that in court.
“In all the provisions of the Chiefs Laws, beaded crown is mentioned and not coronet, which the government claimed 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 bales. But there are no provisions for coronet in the state Chiefs Laws.”
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The Olubadan also alleged that the governor would not hesitate to remove him because of his opposition to the review.
Naija News learnt that the Olubadan children chieftaincy review had been a source of discord and animosity among Ibadan elites in recent time, particularly the Olubadan and the Oyo State governor.
Other chiefs in Ibadan have also challenged the legality of the mass coronation carried out by the governor in court. They include an Ibadan High Chief and a former governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja; Abdul Jelil Karimu, among other indigenes of Ibadan land.
In his suit, some of the orders the Olubadan sought include,
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the fourth to 24th defendants from wearing of beaded crown/coronet crown and from parading themselves as beaded crown/coronet crown wearing Obas in Ibadan land.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the first defendant by himself or any of his officials, servants or agents acting pursuant to his instructions from initiating any process or taking any step towards intimidating, harassing, threatening, suspending, removing deposing or taking any action whatsoever detrimental to the Claimant personally or his office as the Olubadan of Ibadanland, more particularly with respect to the crisis caused by the purported amendment to the Olubadan chieftaincy Declaration and Related Matters as contained in Gazettes No 14 and 15 at volume 42 of 23rd and 24th of August, 2017.”
“Declaration that for there to be an amendment to the 1959 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration the Chieftaincy Committee proposing such amendment must be composed of Recognised chiefs by virtue of provision of Section 5 (2) of the chiefs Law of Oyo state CAP 28 laws of Oyo state.”
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“Declaration that for there to be an amendment of the 1959 Olubadan of Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration, there must be in existence a Chieftaincy Committee set up in accordance with the provisions of the Chiefs Law of Oyo state 2000.”
“Declaration that the first defendant does not possess the power and authority to confer on anybody/person including the fourth to 24th defendants the right to wear a beaded crown and coronet crown in violation of the Chiefs Law Cap 28 Laws of Oyo state 2000.”
“Declaration that the elevation of the 4th to 24th defendants to the rank/level of an Oba (king) and installation of the said 4th to 24th defendants as kings entitled to wear beaded crown and/or coronet crown by the first defendant without a consultation with the Oyo state council of Obas and Chiefs is illegal, null and void and ultra-vires the powers of the first defendant under chiefs law CAP 26 laws of Oyo state.”
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“An order setting aside gazette no 14 and 15 of volume 42 of 23rd and 24th August, 2017 respectively made by the first defendant which confer on the 4th and 24th defendants the right to wear beaded crown and coronet crowns, same being in breach violation and in conflict with the provisions of the chiefs laws cap 28 laws of Oyo state, 2000.”
“An order setting aside the installation of the 4th to 24th defendants (done on Sunday 27th August, 2017) made pursuant to gazette No 14 and 15 of volume 42 of 23rd and 24th August 2017 as same is in conflict with the provision of the chiefs law cap 28 laws of Oyo state 2000 and is to that extent null and void.”