Olubadan: Olakulehin’s enthronement takes another twist as Ladoja, kingmakers differ on terms of settlement

Akinade Feyisayo
Akinade Feyisayo

The enthronement of the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, on Thursday took another twist when the Otun Olubadan High Chief Rasidi Ladoja and other kingmakers differed on the terms of settlement to facilitate the process.

Ladoja, while playing host to Mogajis in Ibadanland led by Chief Asimiyu Ariori at his Bodija residence, indicated readiness to withdraw the suit he initiated against members of Olubadan-in-Council on condition that the two parties must sign terms of settlement as prepared.

According to Ladoja: “Myself and other members of Olubadan-in-Council have been sitting together and talking. We have accepted to withdraw the case from court.

“I heard that they have started signing the agreement. After all of them have signed, I will also sign my own aspect, and the next day, we will file for withdrawal of the case from court.”

However, other members of Olubadan in Council, who are defendants in the suit, argued there is no need for signing of any terms of settlement paper as they have already abided by the 1957 declaration.

In a meeting on Thursday at Olubadan palace, Oja’ba attracted Osi Balogun, Oba Lateef Gbadamosi Adebimpe; Asipa Olubadan Oba Abiodun Kola-Daisi; Asipa Balogun, Kola Adegbola; Ekerin Balogun Oba John Isioye-Dada, Ekaarun Olubadan, and Oba Adebayo Akande.

The Otun Olubadan High Chief Rasidi Ladoja; Osi Olubadan Oba Eddy Oyewole; Otun Balogun Oba Tajudeen Ajibola, Ekerin Olubadan; Oba Hamidu Ajibade Salaudeen; and Ekaarun Balogun, Oba Abiodun Azeez, were absent at the meeting.

Oba Adebimpe, while speaking on behalf of other members of the Council in attendance at the meeting, said event has overtaken the term of reference as contained in the agreement paper, stating there was no need to sign it.

He said that they have resolved to comply by the 1957 Chieftaincy Declaration which empowers the most Senior High Chief, who is High Chief Rasidi Adewolu Ladoja, to convene the meeting of Olubadan in Council.

“We have read through it and discovered that the terms of settlement have been met, which is strict compliance with the 1957 Chieftaincy Declaration. We realised that our actions and deeds must be in accordance with the 1957 Declaration which is why we honoured his invitation to a meeting for the nomination of Oba Owolabi Olakulehin as the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadanland.

“He had called a similar meeting that we all refused to attend, but we were later made aware that we had acted contrary to the provisions of the 1957 Chieftancy Declaration. Our attendance at the meeting showed that we are complying with the Declaration.

“The nomination letter is with the state government; what is left now is for High Chief Ladoja to withdraw the pending case in court in order to facilitate the installation of the new Olubadan,” he said.

Asipa Olubadan, Oba Abiodun Kola Daisi, said a similar scenario of litigation played out two years ago when the governor insisted that he would not give any approval for the enthronement of a new monarch until the case was withdrawn.

According to him: “We had similar problem before the installation of the immediate past Kabiyesi, Late Oba Sen Lekan Balogun. We instituted a court case against the government.

“Because of this, the Governor insisted that he would not approve the installation of the new Olubadan until the case is withdrawn. The plaintiffs in the suit—ten of us came together and withdrew the case unconditionally from the Court.

“Two years down the lane, same situation is playing itself out again. There is a case in court, not from our side but from our Otun Olubadan who has insisted that he would not join rank with us as crown wearing kings, but today the matter has been resolved.

“The new Olubadan has been recommended. We are waiting for approval from the government, but there is a case in court that needs to be withdrawn. The terms of settlement as contained in the agreement paper that we are expected to sign have been overtaken by the event.

“We are asked to sign that we will abide by the 1957 Chieftaincy Declaration. We are already doing that. What are we signing again. The summary of the terms of settlement is that we are going to follow the 1957 Chieftaincy Declaration in choosing another Olubadan.

“What that Declaration says is that Otun Olubadan, the highest ranking on the other side will convene the meeting of the kingmakers. He called the meeting the first time but we refused to attend because our status are different.

“But we realised that we had acted outside the Declaration as we later complied with his directives. The nomination of the new Olubadan has reached the government. We are waiting for the approval.”

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