By Adeola Oladele
Before the death of Oba Samuel Odulana, Odugade 1, an acclaimed chieftaincy line Seriki was in the news, claiming it was its turn to produce the next Olubadan. The head of the Seriki line, Chief Adebayo Oyediji kicked against installing the Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Saliu Adetunji, as the next Olubadan of Ibadanland, as it headed to the court to stop the Olubadan- In-Council from the process.
To show that they meant business, Chief Oyediji and five others filed a motion seeking an order compelling the government and the Olubadan-In-Council to install Oyediji as the next Olubadan. Oyediji, 89, and others based their prayer on a 1989 Supreme Court judgment which ordered for the recognition of the Seriki as the third line to produce the Olubadan.
He pointed out that the marginalization of the Seriki line began since the last Otun Seriki, Chief Adisa Akinloye, was denied the opportunity of becoming the Olubadan before he died in 2007, adding that Seriki was the third line in the chieftaincy
of Olubadan and that upon the denial, the Supreme Court in 1989 ordered that Seriki line be included as the third line for the appointment of the Olubadan.
Chief Oyediji claimed that the problem with the Seriki- line started with the 1959 Chieftaincy Declaration which put the Seriki under the Ekerin Balogun of Ibadan and provided for the first time that the Seriki could only be promoted to Ekerin Balogun only if there are two simultaneous vacancies occurring in the Ashipa and Ekerin Balogun
He further explained that upon winning against the then Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Oloyede Asanke and all the chiefs in Balogun and Olubadan lines, after challenging the said
chieftaincy declaration, the Olubadan then
prevailed on the Seriki chiefs not to insist on three lines for the Olubadan chieftaincy, but rather the chiefs in the Seriki line should cross to Ekerin Balogun and Ekerin Olubadan on the two lines whenever there is a vacancy in any of the two lines.
According to him, the out-of-court agreement was that the Balogun and Olubadan lines would each have two steps of promotion from Ekarun to Ekerin in their respective lines before the Seriki line shall have its own promotion to Ekerin in any of the two lines.
In the motion filed by his lawyer, A.G. Adeniran, before the Oyo State Chief Judge, Justice Mukthar Abimbola, he stated that the Olubadan -in-Council had since 1989 when the Seriki- line obtained a Supreme Court judgment in their favour, denied them the opportunity of being admitted into the Olubadan line.
The businessman further alleged corruption and
disregard for rule of law on the part of the Olubadan -in-Council, saying he was the next to be installed as Olubadan based on the said judgment.
Having being denied the opportunity for long, and following the consecutive deaths of high chiefs Sulaimon Omiyale and Omowale Kuye from both sides in November and December last, Chief Oyediji, maintained that it was the time of Seriki to have a shot at the Olubadan, stressing: “when the agreement was reached, the late Odulana was the only senior ranking high chief in the Olubadan line and we were in the same rank. If that agreement was followed, I am the next person to succeed him.”
Consequently in the new motion filed by his lawyer, Adeniran, dated 19/01/2016 marked I/421/07 seeking an amendment to reflect the earlier order of the court, Oyediji sought a declaration that “by the provision of the consent judgment delivered by
the high court in suit No. I/313/88, it is the turn of the claimants to produce the next Olubadan of Ibadan on both the Olubadan line and the Balogun line.”
He also sought the order of the court “setting aside the purported appointments made by the 1st defendant (Oba Odulana) to fill vacancies existing in the chieftaincy titles of Ekerin Olubadan, Ashipa Olubadan, Osi Olubadan, Otun Olubadan and Balogun Olubadan of Ibadan since the 21st of November, 2008 up till the last appointment he made on the 1st of January, 2016.”
Oyediji also called for an order to set aside the purported approval granted by “Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State on the 5th of January, 2016 or thereabout to the appointments made by the 1st defendant on the 1st of January, 2016 to fill vacancies existing in the chieftaincy titles.”
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