By Adeola Badru – Ibadan
A former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General in Oyo State, Mr Michael Lana, has warned the 21 Obas sacked by the court to desist from parading themselves as Obas or risk going to jail.
Lana, in a statement made available to newsmen in Ibadan on Monday, said it was contemptuous for those concerned to be addressing themselves as Obas or for anybody to address them as such.
The lawyer is acting on behalf of a former governor of the state and Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, in a suit filed against the promotion of the Obas by the immediate-past administration in the state.
“It is a notorious fact that by the gazette Nos. 14 Volume 42 of 23rd August 2017 and 15 Volume 42 of 24th August 2017 and 3 Volume 43 of 29th March 2018, the past administration purportedly, albeit illegally, translated some Ibadan High Chiefs into Obas and purportedly gave authority to wear beaded crowns.”
“However, it is also a notorious fact that the said gazette, being the only instruments by which this aberration to Ibadan Chieftaincy Custom Laws was carried out has, by the judgment of the Oyo State High Court, made on 19th November 2019, been set aside.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, that judgment inter alia reads: that all gazettes affecting the Chieftaincy Laws of Ibadanland l particularly gazettes Nos 14 Volume 42 of 23rd August 2017; 15 Volume 42 of 24th August 2017; 3 Volume 43 of 29th March 2018, and the subsequent elevation of High Chiefs and Baales in Ibadanland as Obas during the pendency of the suit be and are hereby set aside.”
“That the rights to wear beaded crowns and coronets granted by the state government during the pendency of the suit are hereby revoked,” the advertorial said.
Lana said it was surprising to see some of the High Chiefs acting as Obas and wearing beaded crowns and coronets.
“Firstly, be it noted that this action constitutes contempt of court for which we shall not hesitate to institute proceedings.”
“Secondly, the act constitutes a criminal offence under Section 28(2) of the Chief Law Cap 28 Laws of Oyo State,” Lana said.
He called on the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Sina Olukolu to arrest any of the high chiefs parading himself as an Oba from now on.
“Where an order under subsection (1) of this section is in force, any person who wears a beaded crown and is not a chief entitled under the order to wear it shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction be liable to a fine of N5, 000 or to imprisonment for one year,” he warned.