Ola Ajayi – Ibadan
Counsel to the former Governor of Oyo State, Chief Rashidi Ladoja, Mr Michael Lana told the Ibadan kings installed by the immediate past Governor of the state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi to face the reality that their crowns have been rendered useless by the nullification of the gazette that authorized it.
Lana, who is a former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General in Oyo State, warned the 21 Ibadan monarchs that continued refusal to obey court order could incur the wrath of the court.
If they desist from parading themselves as kings, they risk being jailed.
Lana, in a statement he signed on behalf of Senator Rashidi Ladoja, said, “It is a notorious fact that by the gazette number 14, volume 42 of August 23, 2017; and number 15, volume 42 of August 24, 2017; and 3 volume 43 of March 29, 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 November 19, 2019, been set aside.
Alluding to the gazette, he noted, “for the avoidance of doubt, that judgment, inter alia, read that all gazettes affecting the Chieftaincy Laws of Ibadanland l, particularly gazettes numbers 14 volume 42 of August 23, 2017; 15 volume 42 of August 24, 2017; 3 volume 43 of March 29, 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.”
“it should be noted that this action constitutes contempt of court for which we shall not hesitate to institute proceedings.”
“The act constitutes a criminal offence under Section 28 (2) of the Chiefs Law Cap 28 Laws of Oyo State”.
He called on the Commissioner of Police, Mr Sina Olukolu to effect the arrest of any of the high chiefs parading himself as an Oba henceforth.
“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 imprisonment for one year,” he stressed.