The new obas in Ibadan land have faulted claims by the Olubadan of Ibadan Oba Saliu Adetunji that those who were elevated to obaship positions in 2017 and 2018 have surrendered their crowns and reverted to their old titles.
The Oniroko of Iroko, an Ibadan community in Akinyele Local Government area of Oyo State, Oba Ismaila Opeola, said on behalf of his brother-obas yesterday that Oba Adetunji misrepresented facts of the crown tussle, insisting that they did not drop their insignia of office as obas.
Oba Adetunji had, in a statement by his Personal Assistant/Director of Media and Publicity, Adeola Oloko, declared that “the three-year old crisis that rocked Ibadan Chieftaincy System has gone with the wind. Chiefs are no longer addressed as monarchs as this has become unlawful and we have stopped indiscriminate wearing of beaded crowns and coronets” among other things.
But, the Oniroko said there was no iota of truth in the claim by the reverred monarch, insisting: “None of us, the Royal Majesties (High Chiefs) or the Royal Highnesses (Baales) has dropped our crown or coronets.” The monarch explained that the consent judgement obtained by High Chief Rashidi Ladoja last November and which might have informed the claim and position of the Olubadan “has currently become a subject of litigation as two separate suits are already filed in the state high court challenging it”.
Quoting the counsel to the Ibadan Obas, Kunle Sobaloju Esq., Oniroko said: “The consent judgement was obtained by concealment of salient facts by the parties to it and that it was obtained by fraud for failure to disclose to the court the interests of third parties, who are not parties to the suit and that the consent judgement did not represent the terms of settlement entered by the parties”.
Describing the submission by Olubadan as a product of misinformation, Oba Abioye Opeola noted that the position of their counsel (Sobaloju) that since the Ibadan Obas had “submitted the issues in respect of their rights to wear beaded crown and coronet to the court for determination, unless the issues are determined one way or the other, none of the parties is allowed to do anything that will prejudice the hearing and determination of the issues before the court.
“It is settled law that once a court is seised of a matter, none of the parties has the right to take the law into his hands or to do anything that will prejudice the hearing of the case”, Oniroko explained further.
It was also learnt that to confirm the ruse that the three-year old rift had come to an end, some of the new obas, who are members of the Olubadan-in-Council, absented themselves from the installation of the new Araba at the Olubadan palace on Friday.
The joint boycott of the palace by the members of the Olubadan-in-Council last Friday, it was gathered, was to protest their alleged exclusion from the process leading to the choice of the new Araba, a system said to have become the new culture of the palace.
The high chiefs alleged that the letter inviting them to the palace last Friday indicated that they were to discuss the appointment and not installation. They added that the palace would have completed everything they want and only gather the high chiefs to be part of the ceremony. The high chiefs were said to view the style as eroding their statutory duty as members of the Olubadan-in-Council.