The 21 new kings installed by the administration of the immediate past governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, in 2017, may lose their crown as indications emerged on Wednesday that the Oyo State Government under the leadership of 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 term of settlement was filed in the registry of the Court of Appeal, Ibadan, on Tuesday.
Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, and the Osi Olubadan, Rashidi Ladoja, who is a former governor of the state, are in disagreement with the processes that led to the installation.
Both of them separately dragged the former governor, the government and the 21 new kings to the Oyo State High Court. While the court had delivered judgement in the case filed by Ladoja, it has not on the litigation instituted by Oba Adetunji.
Justice Olajumoke Aiki of Oyo State High Court delivered the judgement 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.
The Ajimobi administration appealed the judgement, giving 11 grounds why the judgement of the lower court should be upturned, asking the higher court to set aside the ruling and judgement of the Oyo State High Court, an order that would uphold his preliminary objections raised against Ladoja, as well as an order that will dismiss the case in its entirety.
The appeal was still pending when the All Progressives Congress-led government left power on May 2019.
Now, the incumbent Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government has reached an agreement with 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 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.
It was gathered that the appellant applicant (state government) and appellant respondent (Ladoja) set aside the gazettes on the installation during the pendency of the case both at the High Court and Court of Appeal and that the judgement delivered by Justice Aiki has 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 to protect the sanctity of Ibadan traditional chieftaincy system.