By Dayo Johnson
Akureâ€“Â HISTORY was yesterday made in Ondo state as the Deji of Akureland Oba Oluwadare Adepoju became the first traditional ruler of the ancient town to be deposed and banished by the state government after barely five years on the throne.
Consequently, government has directed the kingmakers to present names of three reagents out of which itÂ would pick one to administer the affairs of the town pending the commencement of the selection of a new traditional ruler.
Few minutes before the end of the state Executive Council meeting, the traditional ruler was arrested by the police and whisked away to the CID division of the state police command by top police chiefs.
He was banished for the first six months in the first instance to an undisclosed town within Ondo state which government considers safe pending the final report of security operative investigating the brawl between him and his enstranged Olori Bolanle few week ago.
Government decision came after about five hours state Executive Council meeting held in Akure, the state capital yesterday to decide the fate of the embattled Oba after he submitted his response to a query issued him by government last week.
Addressing newsmen, the Information Commissioner Ranti Akerele flanked by the Special Duties Commissioner Niran Sule Akinsuyi and the Local Government and ChieftaincyÂ Diran Iyantan, the state government said that the â€œEXCO has approved the deposition of Oba Adesina Adepoju, Deji of Akure withÂ effect from today. June 10 2010.
â€œThe state government also announced the relocation of the deposed monarch to a safe place pending further decisions of the security agencies on him as they relate to the criminal aspect of his actions against his wife.
â€œIn exercising the provision of section 17 (1) and (2)of the Chiefs law 1984 as amended vest the state Executive Council with the powers to suspend or deposed any Chief if considered such suspension or deposition to be reasonably justified.
â€œBefore arriving at this decision, government has taken its time to study the reports of the security agencies and reports from all well-meaning Akure citizens on both sides of the divide and particularly the response of the deposed monarch to a query by the relevant office of government.
â€œGovernment also studied the position of the state Council of traditional rulers before arriving at the decision which it believes is in the interest of the people of Akure, the womanhood the man who have in the eyes of brought opprobrium to the office he occupied and the larger society.
â€œGovernmentÂ has been deliberate, meticulous and firm in looking at all the issues. We have taken our time to follow the provisions of the law in taking our decisions on issues involved.
â€œGovernment is committed to protecting the rights of its citizenry and ensuring the promotion of peace and security in Ondo State.
â€œThe allegation against the deposed monarch, we need to reemphasise, torches on deep values that we hold dear as a people.
â€œThat was why we insisted on handling them with a clear focus hoping that at the end of it all justice will be seen to have been manifestly done to all.
â€œIn the present circumstances, the government after due recource to laid down procedures and having found compelling evidence of punishable infractions has no other alternative than to visit the required punitive action on the controversial Oba.
â€œOn the issues as in this case the rule of law has been and will be our irreducible minimum guide, the sanctity of the laws of the land our template.
â€œGovernment enjoins all to go about their normal duties without ant fear of molestationÂ as the security agencies are alert to arrest whoever would want to take the laws into their hands Any attempt to act in a manner that could lead to a break down of law and order will be viewed with all seriousness.
â€œThe state EXCO has today approved the relocation of the deposed Oba outside Akure city in the interest of peace, public order, public morality and in obedience to provisions of our law.
The Executive Council with the powers to suspend or depose any chief if it considers such suspension or deposition to be reasonably justifiable, noted the outrage, protest and condemnation that greeted Oba Adepojuâ€™s conduct as demonstrated by the protest embarked upon by the National Council of Women Societies, the Federation of Women lawyers among others.
It further noted that on Sunday, May 30th, 2010, Oba Adepoju Adesina conducted himself in the most dishonourable, condemnable and disgraceful manner and has by that conduct brought the institution of Obaship and the stool of Deji to disrepute and public odium and his various acts are against public order, public safety/ public morality and not in accordance with the customs, tradition and public order and morality.
Aside, it disclosed that various reports of security agencies in the State found the former king culpable adding that the response of the deposed King to the query issued on him by the Commissioner in Charge of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs on Thursday June 3, 2010 was â€œcompletely unsatisfactory as his conduct was unbecoming and has eroded the sanctity, dignity and respect of the stool of Deji of Akurelandâ€deposed King to the query issued on him by the Commissioner in Charge of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs on Thursday June 3, 2010 was â€œcompletely unsatisfactory as his conduct was unbecoming and has eroded the sanctity, dignity and respect of the stool of Deji of Akureland.â€
Meanwhile, the deposed Oba is in police custody at the state Headquarters Igbatoro in Akure metropolis.
Police Commissioner Mogaji Nasarawa confirmed that; â€˜the deposed Oba is in our custody,â€™ when contacted yesterday.
Activities in the state capital remained normal after the government decision was aired on the state Radio and Television yesterday
It would be recalled that notable leaders in Akureland under the umbrella of Akure Community Development Forum (ACDF) had earlier called for the deposition of the Oba for embarrassing the people of the town and the traditional institution.
They said that â€œsubsequent steps in the nomination of a new Deji be put in place according to norms and rules of the government.
Also, the Kingmakers has declared that his days are numbered in the palace after the disgraceful behaviour.
The leaders of Akure who called for his removal include the Chief Imam of Akureland Alhaji Akeem Yayi Akorede, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, the Chairman of Afenifere , Chief OLu Falae, Prince Dayo Faloye,Hon Justice Dare Aguda, Rev Luyi Rotimi, Chief Femi Adekanye, Chief Sanya Oyinsan amongst others
The Council of Oba in the state led by the Olowo of Owo Oba Folagbade Olateru Olagbegi had suspended him while the state government had issued him a query which is expected to reach it tomorrow.
The Leader of Afenifere Chief Reuben Fasoranti who leads the forum asked the state governor Dr Olusegun Mimiko to acceded to their decision in removing the Deji.
â€œWe pray that God will grant our governor a divine wisdom to accede on our advised of our decision in removing the Deji to allow peace to reign so that Akure can move forward.
â€œEqually, subsequent steps in the nomination of a new Deji be put in place according to norms and rules of the government.
The leaders took exception to the recent street fighting of the traditional ruler noting that â€œthe entire community feels seriously embarrassed by the way the Deji has chosen to solve his domestic problem in the public glare.
â€œIt is not a new thing for husband and wife to have misunderstanding, but it is unbecoming of a paramount ruler of a kingdom to quarrel or fight in the public. The lack of consultation and ability to take advice has led to this misadventure.
â€œOn our part as ACDF and AIC we have tried as much as possible to mediate, consult and plead for peace in different forms to retain the integrity of Akure, preserve our tradition and allow Akure to move forward.
Also, the embattled Deji of Akureland, Oba Oluwadare Adepoju was dragged before an Akure High Court by his Ex- Olori Bolanle to seek redress over the defence put up by the Deji.
Olori Bolanle prayed the court to declare that her two sons Adegboyega and Adesimbo are biological sons of Adesina and that N100 million damages should be awarded to her for defaming her character through the claim of the monarch that the paternity of the boys was doubtful.
The emabattled was equally quizzed by the police over assault on his wife Olori Bolanle Adepoju.
Top police detective from the state police Command visited the Oba in his palace to obtain his statement on the brawl with his wife.