Posted by News Express | 21 January 2016 | 3,634 times
Two Ibadan high chiefs yesterday locked horns over who succeeds Oba Samuel Odulana, the erstwhile Olubadan, who died Tuesday 82 days before he clocked 102.
The head of Seriki line in the Olubadan chieftaincy, Chief Bayo Oyediji, has declared that going by the judgment of Supreme Court and an agreement reached with the Olubadan, representatives of Olubadan-in-council and the representatives of the Seriki line, he is the next Olubadan of Ibadan after the demise of Oba Samuel Odulana.
Chief Oyediji stated this in an interview with some journalists at his Monatan office, following the news that the Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Saliu Adetunji, is the next Olubadan of Ibadan.
He informed that the Seriki line had got a judgment to include them in the Olubadan line since, adding that “the Olubadan-in-Council is hiding under the immunity of the governor to suppress the judgment.”
Oyediji, 89, an oil business magnate, alleged that corruption and disregard for rule of law on the part of the Olubadan-in-Council had robbed the Seriki line of their rightful status.
According to him and the motion his lawyer, A.G. Adeniran, filed before the Oyo State Chief Judge, Justice Mukthar Abimbola, the Olubadan-in-Council had since 1989, when the Seriki line obtained a Supreme Court judgment in their favour, denied them the opportunity of being admitted into the Olubadan line.
The oil dealer went emotional as he relayed the alleged marginalisation of the Seriki line since the last Otun Seriki, Chief Adisa Akinloye, was denied the opportunity before he died in 2007.
Chief Oyediji said Seriki was the third line in the chieftaincy of Olubadan and that upon the denial, the Supreme Court, in 1989, ordered that Seriki line be included as third line to the appointment of Olubadan as it was in the past.
Oyediji claimed that “the problem with the Seriki line started with the making of the 1959 Ekerin Balogun of Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration which put Seriki under the Ekerin Balogun of Ibadan and provided for the first time that Seriki can only be promoted to Ekerin Balogun only if there are two simultaneous vacancies occurring in the Ashipa and Ekerin Balogun titles.
“After that, the then Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Oloyede Asanike and all the chiefs in Balogun and Olubadan line challenged the said chieftaincy declaration. The Olubadan then prevailed on the Seriki chiefs not to insist on three lines for the Olubadan chieftaincy, but that rather, chiefs in the Seriki line should cross to Ekerin Balogun and Ekerin Olubadan on the two lines whenever there is a vacancy in any of the two lines.”
He further explained that the out-of-court settlement arrangement reached then was that the Balogun and Olubadan lines would each have two steps of promotion from Ekarun to Ekerin in their respective lines before Seriki line shall have its own promotion to Ekerin in any of the two lines.
He revealed that the then Olubadan, Oba Asanike, signed on behalf of the Olubadan-in-council, Chief Adeyemo Operinde, who later became Olubadan, signed on behalf of the Otun line, while Chief Ogundipe, who also rose to become the Olubadan, signed for Balogun line. Chief Oyediji, Chief M.O. Akanbi, Alaadorin and Chief Oyeranmi, he said, signed for Seriki line.
Having been denied the opportunity for ages and following the consecutive deaths of High Chief Omiyale and Omowale Kuye from both sides of the Balogun and Otun Olubadan, Chief Oyediji said it was the time of Seriki to have a shot at the Ekerin Olubadan, stressing that “when the agreement was reached, the late Odulana was the only senior ranking High Chief in the Olubadan line and we were in the same rank. If that agreement is followed, I am the next person to succeed him.”
In the new motion filed by his lawyer, Adeniran, dated 19/01/2016 and marked I/421/07, he sought a declaration that “by the provision of the consent judgment delivered by the High Court in suit No. I/313/88, it is the turn of the claimants to produce the next Olubadan of Ibadan on both the Olubadan line and the Balogun line.”
He also sought the order of the court setting aside the purported appointments made by the first defendant (Oba Odulana) to fill vacancies existing in the chieftaincy titles of Ekerin Olubadan, Ashipa Olubadan, Osi Olubadan, Otun Olubadan and Balogun Olubadan of Ibadan since November 21, 2008 up till the last appointment he made on January 1, 2016.
Adedoja also called for an order “setting aside the purported approval granted by the governor of a Oyo State on January 5, 2016 or thereabout to the appointments made by the first defendant on January 1, 2016 to fill vacancies existing in the chieftaincy titles.
According to Chief Oyediji, one of the Seriki’s motions would be heard on January 28.
•Adapted from a Nigerian tribune report. Photo shows late Oba Samuel Odulana.
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