Olubadan: Ex-Attorney General Writes Makinde, Says Lekan Balogun Unfit To Succeed Oba Adetunji - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Monday, January 3, 2022

Olubadan: Ex-Attorney General Writes Makinde, Says Lekan Balogun Unfit To Succeed Oba Adetunji

The Daily Crucible | Monday, January 3, 2022

Former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Oyo state, Michael Lana, has claimed that 
Senator Lekan Balogun, is unfit to be crowned the next Olubadan of Ibadan.

Following the demise of Oba Saliu Adetunji, the Olubadan of Ibadan, on Sunday at the University College Hospital, Ibadan and burial same day at his Popoyemoja palace according to Islamic rites, Lekan Balogun who is currently the Otun Olubadan is next in line to be king.

Expectedly, Ibadan Chiefs were said to have held  meeting with Olalekan Balogun  at his Ali Iwo Family Compound in respect of the prospect of the then Alliance for Democrscy Senator succeeding late Oba Adetunji as the 42nd Olubadan of Ibafan.

 But petitions and letters against him being the Olubadan - elect are being pushed out in waves from different quarters even when it is obvious that his selection should be considered given and automatic, following the agelong customs of Ibadanland rotational and seniority royal system. 

One of such letters dated January 3, and addressed to governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state, the author, Lana, claimed that crowning Balogun as next Olubadan will amount to an “aberration and illegality.”

The former Justice Commissioner alleged that Balogun, some high chiefs and Baales in Ibadan  were illegally bestowed with their traditional titles and foisted on the people by the then governor Abiola Ajimobi.

Lana who recalled that the action was challenged in suit No. M317/ 2017-high chief Rashid Ladoja V the governor of Oyo state, said the conferment was nullified by Aiki J, a high court judge, for being in contravention of both the chiefs law and the Ibadan chieftaincy customary law.

He stated :“Kindly note, your excellency, that your predecessor in office, without thinking at the legal effects of his actions on the future of Ibadan traditional institution, conferred the title of Obaship on some high chiefs and Baales and gave them the right to wear beaded crowns and coronets in 2017.

“However, the court of appeal in Appeal No.CA/111/99/ 2018 set aside the said Judgment of Aiki J on technical grounds without touching on the merit of the case and sent the case hack for retrial.

“Upon your excellency’s assumption of office, it was resolved that the matter be settled amicably and the same was settled through the instrumentality of a Terms of Settlement which became the judgment of the court.

“The said Terms of Settlement recognised the illegality of the said actions and therefore set aside the gazettes by which the said chiefs became Obas with a right to wear beaded crowns and coronets.

“These high chiefs and Baales were dissatisfied with this consent judgment and therefore instituted two separate suits to set aside the consent judgment while at the same time clinging to the title of Obas (which actually is in contempt of court).

“One of these cases is Suit No: Suit No.I/ 22/ 2020-HRM Oba (senator) Lekan Balogun & ors V governor of Oyo state & ors.”

Lana said despite the fact that the “aberration” changed the Ibadan chieftaincy customary law, “the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration of 1957 was not amended and therefore remains extant”.

He said: “Under that declaration and all relevant law, no Oba can ascend to the throne of Olubadan.

“In other words, as long as the high chiefs still cling to the title of Oba, they cannot ascend to that throne and any installation of any of them during the pendency of that suit is illegal, null and void.

“It is in line with this legal situation that I advice, most humbly, that you should withhold any approval of any high chief to become the 0lubadan so that you will not also join in the desecration of Ibadan chieftaincy customary law.”

According to the ex - Attorney-General, “There are only two ways to deal with this situation: one is for the high chiefs to withdraw the aforementioned cases and the other is to wait for the court to pronounce on it before any step is taken to install an Olubadan.

“If the court holds that they have the right to be Obas and entitled to wear beaded crowns, then they are perpetually barred from becoming another Oba. Nowhere in the customary law of any Yoruba town is an Oba elevated to become another Oba.

“On the other hand, if the court holds that the Terms of Settlement stands, and their obaship title is illegal, then they are free to be elevated to the post of Olubadan."

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