Ibadan obas rejects court verdict on crowns, may opt for legal tussle

The last might have not been heard on the crisis rocking the Ibadan Traditional Council as the obas in Ibadanland on Thursday kicked against the court judgment that stripped them of their crowns on Tuesday, describing the court process as shaving the head of a person in his absence.

As the direct beneficiaries of the law that promoted them from high chiefs and baales to obas on August 27, they said the out-of-court settlement option which the judgment was premised was without their inputs and there was no way they could accept such.

Justice Aderonke Aderemi of the State High Court, Ibadan, had in his judgment asked the obas to drop their crowns in view of the setting aside of all the gazettes relating to their promotion consequent upon the out-of-court settlement said to have been agreed upon by the parties in the suit.

In the suit filed by the Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland and former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, it was disclosed that the state government which had appealed the initial judgment of the lower court which earlier nullified the elevation of the obas had opted out and preferred the matter resolved out of court.

But at the meeting of the obas at the Mapo Hall headed by the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Lekan Balogun, it was stated that the government had no business setting aside the gazettes and as such action did not show commitment to governance.

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According to the obas, “those behind the judgment did not consult the interest of Ibadanland. We as obas and representatives of the people reject the judgment and we are going to fight it through legal and legitimate means. They want to destabilise Ibadanland and we will not allow them.”

The obas further disclosed that the issue at hand was beyond Ibadanland and the conspiracy against the promoted Ibadan obas which the judgment could not and should not be allowed against the entire state, which the gazette of 2018 and the latest one captured.

They said they had briefed their lawyer who would give the next directive according to law.

The obas reiterated that their rejection of the verdict would not in any way affect their relationship with the paramount ruler of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso 1, described as the father of all who commands their respect and unalloyed loyalty and support.

They also said they would be waiting for the Olubadan to convey the Olubadan-in-Council meeting, saying “we are not quarrelling with our father, Oba Adetunji, he should let our meetings go on regularly.”

It will be recalled that when the promotion was effected, High Chief Ladoja had filed a suit against the Oyo State governor and the Judicial Commission of Inquiry headed by retired Justice Akintunde Boade that reviewed the declaration in 2017, positing that the review by former governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi was not proper as he (Ajimobi) lacked the right to review the declaration independent of the Olubadan and his high chiefs.

The lower court then gave a verdict in support of Ladoja, but the judgment was appealed by Ajimobi, a case that was recently decided and thrown back to the lower court for retrial under a new judge outside Justice Aiki, who heard it initially.

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