A document has emerged revealing the identity of whom the Oyo Mesi, a group of kingmakers, selected as the new Alaafin of Oyo, Naija News has learned.
The Oyo Mesi, a group of kingmakers in Oyo State, according to the document, reportedly picked Lukman Gbadegesin from the Agunloye Ruling House and forwarded his name to the government last year.
In the document sighted by Premium Times, the name of the late Oba Lamidi Adeyemi’s likely successor was sent to the Oyo State government on September 30, 2022.
The document, believed to be a proclamation document and a court judgment, was signed by the five living Oyo Mesi members and two warrant chiefs selected by the government to replace deceased Oyo Mesi members.
The proclamation reads, “We hereby proclaim Prince Lukman Adelodun Gbadegesin the new Alaafin.”
The kingmakers said they received a list of 82 aspiring princes from the Baba Iyaji of Oyo, the head of all princes, Mukaila Afonja.
As the proclamation shows, all the kingmakers signed for Mr Gbadegesin, whose grandfather, Alaafin Bello Gbadegesin Ladigbolu II, was the predecessor of the immediate past Alaafin Adeyemi III.
By Oyo tradition and the Alaafin Chieftaincy Declaration, Baba Iyaji is empowered to collect the names of aspiring princes from the next ruling house and transmit them to the Bashorun, the head of Oyo Mesi.
The Bashorun would then convene a meeting of the kingmakers to take a vote, and the prince, with a simple majority, is to be proclaimed Alaafin.
According to the law, an aspirant or the ruling house has 21 days to petition the government to challenge the selection. But no such petition was written.
However, after the expiration of the 21-day window, a prince, Hakeem Ladigbolu, approached the court to set aside the selection process.
But in a judgment given on December 19, 2023, an Oyo State High Court in Oyo Town, upheld the process leading to the selection of Gbadegesin, court papers show.
Naija News gathered that despite the proclamation by the Oyo Mesi and the court judgment upholding the process, the government has yet to make a formal stand.
Meanwhile, the Bashorun of Oyo, Yusuf Akinade, confirmed the process has been concluded.
He told the platform, “We have submitted everything to the government, direct all other questions to the government, but we have completed the process.” He, however, refused to disclose the name of the prince selected.