The Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, has sued Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and 23 others for their involvements in the installing of 21 kings in Ibadan on August 27, 2017.
Also joined in the suit are: the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, the eight high chiefs who were elevated to kings as well as the baales who were conferred with kingship status.
Besides the monarch’s suit, former Governor Rashidi Ladoja, Abdul Jelil Karimu, among others, have also challenged the legality of the coronation in court.
In the suit numbered I/1077/2017, which was filed at the High Court of Justice, Oyo State on September 19, 2017, the Olubadan is claiming that the governor violated the Chiefs Laws CAP 28 of the state in installing the new kings.
He argued that Ajimobi did not possess the power and authority to confer anybody with the right to wear a beaded crown and coronet.
One of the representatives of the king, Abiodun Abdu-raheem, told reporters that his client perused sections of the state’s Chiefs Laws to challenge the defendants, adding that the governor did not fulfil the process prescribed by the law before embarking on the review of the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration of 1959.
He said, “The governor exercised his power to elevate chiefs to kings acting under the provision of Section 28 (1) Cap 28 of the Chiefs Laws of Oyo State. The Olubadan is contending the fact that before you can exercise any power under the section of the Chiefs Law, you must as a matter of necessity consult with the Oyo State Council of Chiefs and Obas.
“As far as the monarch is concerned, the council has not been holding meeting by virtue of the directive of the governor in 2011. Since the council is not sitting, the governor could not have consulted with it before going on to carry out the action that led to the crowning of the kings.
“There is no provision that says that the governor can waive consultation with the council if it is not sitting. The law is clear on this matter. As it is today, the Olubadan of Ibadan land is the chairman of that council, even though the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, is contending that in court.
“In the entire provisions of the Chiefs Laws, beaded crown is mentioned and not coronet which the government claimed that was given to the Baales who were elevated to kings. The government stated that it gave beaded crowns to the high chiefs and coronet to the Baales but there are no provisions for coronet in the state Chiefs Laws.
“The issue of amending chieftaincy declaration of the Olubadan can only be done after certain requirements are fulfilled. The law says that there must be a chieftaincy committee to be set up by the governor before such thing can be done. But such committee did not exist. The law says such committee must have a recognised chief as the chairman and other chiefs as members. We want the court to determine if the committee set up by the governor had a recognised chief as its chairman and if the members were chiefs.”