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Former attorney general and justice commissioner, Michael Lana, has faulted claims by solicitors to Ibadan kingmakers that their elevation to Obaship status didn’t alter their chances to become Olubadan.
In a letter to Seyi Makinde, Lana, who is also lawyer to Rashidi lawyer, who is Osi Olubadan and former governor, said that the senior advocates of Nigeria, Kehinde Eleja, Wahab Egbewole and Kunle Sobaloju, solicitor to Lekan Balogun and others lied that they have been elevated at various times by the deceased Olubadan and approved by the governor.
According to him, Makinde never signed and approved HRM Dr Kolawole Adegbola’s elevation from Ekarun Balogun to Ashipa but that Adegbola presented himself as chief.
January 5, 2022
Engr Seyi Makinde,
The Executive Governor of Oyo State,
RE:INSTALLATION OF A NEW OLUBADAN OF IBADANLAND.
My attention has been drawn to the letter dated January 4, 2022 by some learned solicitors who claimed to be solicitors to the Olubadan in Council in response to my earlier letter to your Excellency dated January 3, 2022.
First, I know as a fact that they are not solicitors to the Olubadan in Council, rather they are solicitors to the High Chiefs who were made Obas by your predecessor and it was in that capacity that they instituted Suit No.1/22/2020. I know as a fact, that High Chief (Senator) Rashidi Ladoja is a bona fide member of the Olubadan in Council and at no time did that Council meet to appoint the said Solicitors, its counsel, to institute an action against High Chief (Senator) Ladoja or respond to my letter.
Secondly, I note that they stated in their letter that my said letter was ‘self-serving’. They seem to have forgotten that I am, unlike them, an indigene of Ibadan who has a say in the affairs of Ibadanland. I am not like them, who are not from Oyo State, not to talk of being from Ibadan. Thus it is of no moment to them, if they mis-advised their clients to dig deeper into the grave of illegality. They therefore have no qualms if Ibadan burns.
They argued that the right to the ascension to the stool of Olubadan cannot be eroded by the conferment of the right to wear beaded crowns because at no time was any of them installed the Olubadan. I have never seen any argument that is so fallacious. The question they failed to answer, is whether an Oba can again be elevated to an Oba or whether in their own various towns, being Yorubas, their chiefs have dual title of Oba and Chief at the same time. However, Your Excellency will note, that in order to cover-up the illegality, they conveniently did not mention that these High Chiefs have been elevated to Obas and that this elevation is the crux of Suit No.1/22/2020 which they instituted; they only refer to the right to wear beaded crown.
Their arguement, that some of these High Chiefs have been elevated at various times by the deceased Olubadan and approved by your Excellency, is a blatant lie. Your Excellency never signed any approval for HRM Dr Kolawole Adegbola to be elevated from Ekarun Balogun to Ashipa. The records are clear on this. The said Chief presented himself as Chief Kolawole Adegbola and not as His Royal Highness, Oba Kolawole Adegbola. His letter of elevation will readily buttress this and I challenge them to publish any letter of elevation signed by you and the Olubadan, in which Chief Adegbola was referred to as an Oba. If he had applied as an Oba, the Olubadan would not have approved his elevation nor would your Excellency have endorsed it. And if he continues to parade himself as Oba, his said elevation could be challenged in court as being illegal and fraudulent.
Because these solicitors are not indigenes of Ibadan, they may not know that each of the Ibadan Chieftaincies from Ekefa Olubadan and Ekefa Balogun up to the Olubadan has a distinct Chieftaincy Declaration made in 1957 which has till date not been amended in accordance with the Chiefs Law and in none of the Chieftaincy Declarations except the Olubadan is the word ‘Oba’ mentioned nor is dual title of Oba/High Chief known under those Declarations or to the custom of Ibadanland.
In Ibadan and in all Yorubaland, there is no custom or tradition that makes a person to be an Oba and at the same title a Chief. The position of Oba is final and does not require further elevation except as regard his class of Oba i.e from second class Oba to first class Oba. It is an aberation of our tradition to hold the title of Oba and Chief and seek promotion. No Oba under Soun of Ogbomoso has ever sought promotion to become the Soun; no Oba under Deji of Akure has ever sought promotion to become Deji of Akure; No Oba under the Alake of Egbaland has ever sought promotion to become the Alake nor has any of the Obas under the Prescribed Authority of the Alaafin ever aspired to become the Alaafin. Therein lies the falacy in the arguments of the learned counsel.
The question that needs to be answered by the said lawyers, is whether there is anything. in the Declaration of each of the Chiefs, or under any law givng anyone the right to elevate an Oba. To my knowledge, the Chiefs Law has not been amended by the Oyo State House of Assembly and that law only makes the Olubadan the Prescribed Authority over hist Ichiefs and not over any Oba.
Therefore, by law, these Obas have no right to be part of Olubadan-in-Council as that body consists of High Chiefs simply and not Oba/High Chief. They therefore have no right to recommend any person to your Excellency to be installed as the Olubada such letter to you is void and can be challenged in court.
Your Excellency needs to know that these same lawyers instituted Suit Ne on behalf of Chiefs but on behalf of Obas and the first Claimant is HIS R
OBA SENATOR LEKAN BALOGUN so if they want to revert back to the customary law of Ibadan where only High Chiefs can become the Olubadan, why was did they not sue simply in their capacity of High Chief?
Your Exellency, their said letter deliberately omitted to state the intendment of the Obas in instituting Suit No.1/22/2020 which was to set aside the Terms of Settlement which nullified their instalment as Obas. In other words, they want to remain Obas. That being the case, where is it in the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration that an Oba/High Chief can be elevated to the position of Olubadan or any position under Olubadan?
Lastly, the solicitors tried to make a distinction between two nomenclatures that have no bearing on the title of Obas illegally bestowed on their clients Le His Royal Majesty and Imperial Majesty. I challenge them to show to your Excellency which law bestowed these nomenclatures on any Oba. A king is a king: what was created by law are their chieftaincies. Nowhere in any law is any Oba given the additional nomenclature.
Now, Your Excellency, it is in the public domain that because of the illegal conferment of Ohaship on these chiefs, they started disregarding the authority of the Olubadan and they copiously disobeyed him even in death these Chiefs refused to pay condolence visit to his palace nor were they present at his burial contrary to the custom of Ibadanland.
Your Excellency will note that under the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration of 1957, this is enough to disqualify them from ascending to the throne of Olubadan. That Declaration states inter alia thus:
“Any chief from any of those embraced in proviso (a) above found guilty ……of disregard of or disrespect to the position or authority of the Olubadan… may not be eligible for nomination” I therefore urge your Excellency not to allow strangers to mislead your Excellency in further desecrating our tradition and custom. Your Excellency, as an Ibadan man, itbehoves on you to get our tradition back.
من Michael F. Lana Esq.