Lagos Assembly gives commissioner 7 days to remove traditional ruler

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state [Photo credit: Instagram - akinwunmiambode]

Lagos lawmakers on Tuesday asked the Commissioner for Local Government, Muslim Folami and a monarch, Oba Rafiu Salami, to revoke installation of a new traditional ruler in the state.

The call followed the adoption of the recommendations of a report on a chieftaincy petition presented by Funmilayo Tejuosho, Chairman of the Adhoc Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Petition and LASIEC.

The petition was titled: “Complaint against the Representation of One Mufutau Olamiji as the Baale of Okegun-Ladeseso, Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area.”

The House said that failure to comply with the recommendations would attract disciplinary action, saying Okegun-Ladeseso never existed in the area.

Presenting the committee’s report on the chieftaincy tussle between Baale Ismaila Ogunkoya of Okegun- Odofin and Olamiji of Okegun-Ladeseso, Tejuosho said that the committee’s recommendations were taken after thorough examinations.

“That the motive behind the creation and carving out of the newly created Okegun-Ladeseso out of Okegun-Odofin, mainly was to checkmate the influence of Baale Ismaila Ogunkoya, and this is absurd and unacceptable.

“Hence, the Baaleship of Mufutau Olamiji be rescinded in order to bring lasting peace to that community; accordingly, Baale Ismaila Ogunkoya remains the only Baale of Okegun-Odofin which also comprises the purported created Okegun-Ladeseso.

“That consequent upon (i) above, the Commissioner for the Local Government and Community Affairs should take appropriate action by revoking the gazette given to Mufutau Olamiji as Baale of Okegun-Ladeseso who was maliciously installed after the coronation of Ogunkoya by Oba Salami himself.

“That the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Hon. Muslim Folami and other top officials in the ministry observe due diligence and try not to subvert the system in the course of their duties.

“That all unlawful and reckless land transactions at Okegun-Odofin by Oba Salami and Mufutau Olamiji should stop forthwith.

“That all the Obas or Baales that have been nominated under such anomaly and wrongly endorsed by the tribunal be reversed and sent back to the Ibeju-Lekki LG Chieftaincy Committee for fresh processing,” she said.

The House, which maintained that Okegun-Ladeseso was unknown in the original layout of Ibeju-Lekki, directed the commissioner to revoke the gazette within seven days.

Mrs. Tejuoso had maintained that the Onibeju of Ibeju-Lekki, Oba Salami, maliciously installed Olamiji, who was his Personal Assistant, as Baale to override that of Ogunkoya, who was seen as not being submissive to Onibeju.

The Chairman also disclosed that the commissioner connived with Onibeju to install Olamiji to bypass Committee for Chieftaincy Affairs.

She added that Folami had also proceeded to the tribunal while the House committee was conducting its findings despite given the order to take rescind.

The lawmakers took turns to condemn the procedure of the ministry in installing traditional rulers, saying that most times due process was not followed.

Yinka Ogundimu, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance, said that the activities of the commissioner should be looked into by Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode.

Also speaking, Bisi Yusuff, Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts (Local) said: “It is not enough for the governor to look into the activities of the commissioner, but also expedient for the House to pass a vote-of-no confidence in him.”

The Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, told the lawmakers that failure of both Folami and the Onibeju to adhere to the recommendations of the House within a week would determine the next action.

“We will give them (Commissioner and Onibeju) the opportunity to rescind. We will use this as a test case and I am sure they will comply. They should ensure sanity in Okegun,’’ he said.

The House said that there was a need to review the law on chieftaincy titles and the remuneration in order to regulate the way and manner Obas and Bales emerge in every nook and cranny of Lagos State.


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