Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The 21 new kings installed by the administration of the immediate past governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, may lose their crowns.
The indications emerged on Wednesday when it was gathered that Oyo State government under the leadership of the current governor, Seyi Makinde, has resolved not to continue with prosecution of the appeal before the Court of Appeal, Ibadan, and has opted for out-of-court settlement.
The terms of settlement was filed in the Registry of the Court of Appeal, Ibadan on Tuesday August 20, 2019.
The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, and the Osi Olubadan, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, who is a former governor of the state, have disagreed with the processes that led to the installation of the processes that culminated in the installation.
Both Olubadan and Ladoja separately dragged the former governor, the government and the 21 new kings to the Oyo State High Court. While the court had delivered judgment in the case filed by Ladoja, it has not dispensed with the litigation instituted by Oba Adetunji.
Justice Olajumoke Aiki of an Oyo State High Court delivered the judgment on January 19, 2018, and declared that the Justice Akintunde Boade-led Judicial Commission of Inquiry that reviewed the 1957 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration and other Related Chieftaincies in Ibadanland as unconstitutional, illegal, null, void and of no effect.
But the administration of Ajimobi appealed the judgment, giving 11 grounds why the judgment of the lower court should be upturned, asking the higher court to set aside the ruling and judgment of the Oyo State High Court, an order that would uphold his preliminary objections raised against Senator Rashidi Ladoja, as well as an order that will dismiss the case in its entirety. But the appeal was still pending until the All Progressives Congress-led government left power on May 2019.
But the incumbent government of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has reached an agreement with Senator Ladoja to settle out of court.
The terms of settlement as gathered included the fact that the new administration of Oyo State stands on the rule of law and the two parties have also recognised the fact that the House of Assembly has not amended the Chiefs Law of Oyo State. The amendment could have probably given legal backing to the gazette that led to the installation of the 21 new kings, among whom eight are members of Olubadan-in-Council, and 13 are village heads (Baales) elevated to beaded-crown and coronet-wearing monarchs respectively. Ladoja, who is a member of Olubadan-in-Council rejected the crown.
Daily Sun gathered that the appellant (state government) and appellant respondent (Ladoja) set aside the all the gazettes on the installation during the pendency of the case both at the High Court and Court of Appeal and that the judgment delivered by Justice Olajumoke Aiki had been deemed to form part of the terms.
The governor was also said to have agreed to reconcile all parties involved in the chieftaincy crisis in order to protect the sanctity of Ibadan traditional chieftaincy system.
The two parties also want the terms to be made the judgment of the appellate court and each of the parties shall bear the costs they incurred on the litigation.