…vows to challenge the judgement
By Adeola Badru
FOLLOWING the pronouncement of Justice A Aderemi, of a state High Court to set aside all gazettes affecting the chieftaincy laws of Ibadanland, the Otun Olubadan, Oba Lekan Balogun has said that the verdict of the high court was based on conspiracy, which would be challenged.
Fifty-three months after they were elevated from high chiefs to crown-wearing kings, the crisis rocking the Olubadan-in-Council was put to rest, on Tuesday, as the Oyo State Government withdrew their crowns as part of the condition for a settle-out-of-court proposal made by the state government.
The state governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, who inherited the matter, had opted for an out-of-court settlement to restore peace between the Olubadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, and his estranged chiefs.
The appellate court ordered that the case be returned for trial before another judge of the state High Court.
In a telephone interview with Vanguard on Wednesday, Oba Balogun maintained that Justice Aderemi had no business setting the gazette aside, adding that the parties to the dispute got together and had a common case against Ibadanland.
In his words: “He had no business setting it aside. Parties to the dispute got together and had a common case against us; against Ibadanland.”
“We will take them on. It is a conspiratorial verdict. It is a verdict based on conspiracy. We will challenge the conspiracy. We will challenge the conspiracy in law.”
While being asked if they would still be wearing their crowns as kings following the court pronouncement, Oba Balogun responded: “Ordinarily, we are law-abiding citizens. But we are aware this was a verdict based on conspiracy and we will not respect conspiracy, but we will respect the law.”
“The obas are meeting tomorrow (today) to have a common ground on the issue, but it is a verdict based on conspiracy and we are aware; it is not in the interest of Ibadanland,” he asserted.
Meanwhile, in another telephone interview to the palace of Olubadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, the monarch who spoke through his media aide, Mr Adeola Oloko said: “As regards the High Court judgement of Tuesday, there is no comment.”
It would be recalled that the Court of Appeal, sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, had on August 23, 2019, referred parties in the controversial coronation of 21 kings by the immediate-past Governor Abiola Ajimobi to a lower court.
The parties reached agreement on Tuesday when the state High Court in a suit number M/317/2017 filed by High Chief Rashidi Ladoja pronounced that the parties in the suit have met and agreed that they will let go the right to wear beaded crown and coronet granted by the state government during the pendency of the suit.
The judgement read by Justice A Aderemi reads: “that all the gazettes affecting the chieftaincy laws of Ibadan land particularly gazette Nos.14 vol.42 of 23rd August 2017; 15 Vol 42 of 24 August 2017 and 3 vol 43 of 29th March 2018 and the subsequent elevation of High Chiefs and Baale in Ibadan land as Obas during the pendency of this suit be and are hereby set aside.”
“That the right to wear beaded crown and coronet granted by the state government during the pendency of the suit, is hereby revoked.”
“That the 1st defendant shall take steps to reconcile all parties involved in the chieftaincy matters to foster unity and harmony in the protection of the tradition of Ibadan land as relates to the chieftaincy laws of Ibadan land.”