Ibadan new obas: Mogajis sue Ajimobi, Olubadan, others

Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi
Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi

THE recent coronation of 32 obas in Ibadanland by Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State is still causing ripples as three mogajis from the ancient city has approached a state High Court, sitting in Ibadan, seeking for the nullification of the action of the governor.

Recalled that the governor had upgraded 10 high ranking chiefs out of the 11-member of the Olubadan-in-Council, along with 21 other baales to the status of obas and had, penultimate Sunday, crowned them at a ceremony held at Mapo Hall, but avoided by the Olubadan of Ibadanland, His Royal Majesty Oba Saliu Adetunji.

However, three mogajis from Ibadan, including Chief Olawale Oladoja Akinsola (Akinsola Compound, Opopo Labiran), Chief Abbas Oloko (Oloko Compound, Kobomoje) and Chief (Dr) Adegbola Adeniran (Alaase Compound, Alafara Olubadan), in an Originating Summons Suit No: T/1028/17 filed at the High Court Registry on August 30, 2017, claimed that the action of the governor was against the Chiefs Law and contrary to the customs and tradition of Ibadanland.

Joined in the suit are Governor Ajimobi, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Chiefs Lekan Balogun, Akinloye Olkulehin, Tajudeen Ajibola, Eddy Oyewole, Abiodun Daisi, Latifu Adebimpe, Amidu Ajibade and Dr Kolawole Adegbola, representing themselves and the other baales who were conferred with the right to wear beaded crowns in Ibadanland.

The claimants are also seeking for a declaration of the court for an order disqualifying the 3rd-10th defendants from seeking to contest for the Olubadan stool and also a perpetual injunction restraining the first and second defendants from filling, from the 3rd-10th defendants, the vacant position of Ekarun Balogun and Otun Balogun or any chieftaincy title that may be vacant.

The claimants, in the summons taken out by their counsels, Michael Lana, Babatunde Akinola, Damilola Ojopagogo and Akinbanjo Akinwalire, sought that the defendants appear in court within 30 days of the issuance of the summons and claimed entitlement to the declarations that:

“The purported amendment announced to have been made by the 1st defendant to the 1959 Olubadan of Ibadan chieftaincy Declaration by the 1st defendant is not in accordance with the Chiefs Law, contrary to the custom and tradition of Ibadanland, illegal, null and void and of no effect;

“That the 1959 Olubadan of Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration and other 1959 Declarations made for the other Olubadan chieftaincies are the only authentic declarations guiding the selection and appointment of the Olubadan of Ibadanland and other Olubadan chieftaincies;

“That the obaship title conferred on and the authority granted the 3rd-10th defendants and every other person to wear beaded crown by the 1st defendant, as announced by him on Friday, 25 August, 2017 and the purported installation of the 3rd-10th defendants and other chiefs on Sunday, 27 August, 2017 are not in accordance with the Chiefs Law, contrary to the custom of Ibadanland, null and void;

“Everything done under the said purported Amended Declarations, including the conferment of obaship title on the 32 persons, including the 3rd-10th defendants, by the 1st defendant and the authority granted them to wear beaded crowns are illegal, contrary to the Chiefs Law, contrary to the custom of and tradition of Ibadaland, null, void and of no effect;

“In the alternative that no oba has a right to be in the Olubadan-in-Council or entitled by custom to be made Olubadan of Ibadanland or High Chief in Ibadanland;

“None of the 3rd-10th defendants, while remaining as obas, is qualified for the post of a High Chief or the Olubadan of Ibadanland under the 1959 Olubadan of Ibadanland Chieftaincy Declaration and the customary law relating to the Olubadan of Ibadanland;

“An order disqualifying the 3rd-10th defendants from eligibility for the Olubadan of Ibadanland Chieftaincy title;

“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1st and 2nd defendants from filling the vacant position of Ekarun Balogun and Otun Balogun or any chieftaincy title that may be vacant, from any of the 3rd-10th defendants;

“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1st defendant by himself, agents, servants or any person however called from selecting, appointing or promoting any person among the 3rd-10th defendants to the Olubadan of Ibadan Chieftaincy and;

“An order setting aside the decision of the 1st defendant on the Report of the Justice Boade Judicial Commission of Inquiry and every action taken thereon or pursuant thereto, including the purported Amendment to the 1959 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration as contained in the White Paper announced to have been published in the Oyo State Gazette No. 14 Notice 27 Vol. 42 of 23 August, 2017.”

The claimants also sought the court to determine whether Governor Ajimobi has a right to confer an obaship on any person, including the 3rd-10th defendants; whether he has the right or power, without consultation with the Council of Obas and Chiefs, to make an order specifying that any person was entitled to wear beaded crowns.

They also sought to know if the 1959 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration was not the extant declaration governing the customary law relating to the Olubadan of Ibadan Chieftaincy and whether, under the customary laws relating to the Olubadan, an oba can ascend to the throne of Olubadan or sit with the Olubadan-in-Council and take decisions in relation to thereto.

One of the mogajis, Chief Olawale Oladoja Akinsola of the Akinsola Compound, also deposed to a 33-paragraph affidavit before the state High Court, supporting their interest, roles and functions in the Ibadan traditional chieftaincies.

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