21 Ibadan ‘monarchs’ reject out-of-court settlement with state government

Seyi Makinde: Oyo State Governor
Seyi Makinde: Oyo State Governor

The crisis in the Ibadan traditional council took another twist on Thursday when the 21 high chiefs and Baales rejected a court judgement that stripped them of their crowns.

The chiefs had been promoted and coronated by the administration of former governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, as part of a reform of the traditional institution of Ibadan. But the Olubadan, Saliu Adetunji, rejected the reform.

Eminent indigenes of Ibadan and former President Olusegun Obasanjo had appealed to the two camps to sheathe their swords, all to no avail.

The Court of Appeal in Ibadan had on August 23 referred parties in the controversial coronation of the 21 kings to a lower court.

But Governor Makinde opted for an out-of-court settlement to restore peace between the Olubadan and his estranged chiefs.

On Tuesday, the state high court in suit number M/317/2017 filed by Rashidi Ladoja pronounced that the parties in the suit had met and reached an agreement.

Justice Aderonke Aderemi in the judgement ordered the obas to drop their crowns. She also set aside the gazettes relating to their promotion.

Governor Makinde then withdrew the crowns of the promoted kings as part of the conditions to settle the matter out of court.

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The crisis, however, took another turn on Thursday when the chiefs described the court process as shaving their heads in their absence.

The chiefs said being the direct beneficiaries of the law that promoted them on August 27, 2017, the out-of-court settlement on which the judgement was premised was without their input and they would not accept it.

At their meeting presided by the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Lekan Balogun, the chiefs said the government cannot set aside the gazettes that promoted them.

“Those behind the judgement did not consult the interest of Ibadanland. We, as Obas and representatives of the people reject the judgement and we are going to fight it all the way through legal and legitimate means. They want to destabilise Ibadanland and we will not allow them,” Mr Balogun said.

He said there was a conspiracy against the promoted Ibadan monarchs and they would not allow the judgement to stand.

He said they had briefed their lawyer, who would advise them on the next step.

The chiefs said their rejection of the court judgment will not affect their relationship with the Olubadan, who they described as the father of all.

They said they would be waiting for the Olubadan to convey the Olubadan-in-Council meeting.

“We are not quarrelling with our father, Oba Adetunji. He should let our meetings go on regularly.”

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