The 21 Ibadan obas crowned two years ago by the Abiola Ajimobi administration are currently engaged in a war of words with a former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General in Oyo State, Mr Michael Lana, over the latter’s warning to them to stop parading tthemselves as obas or risk going to jail.
The advertorial read: “It is a notorious fact that by the gazette Nos. 14 Volume 42 of 23rd August, 2017 and 15 Volume 42 of 24th August 2017 and 3 Volume 43 of 29th March, 2018, the past administration purportedly, albeit illegally, translated some Ibadan high chiefs into obas and purportedly gave authority to wear beaded crowns.
“However, it is also a notorious fact that the said gazette, being the only instruments by which this aberration to Ibadan Chieftaincy Custom Laws was carried out has, by the judgment of the Oyo State High Court, made on 19th November, 2019, been set aside.
“For the avoidance of doubt, that judgment inter alia reads: that all gazettes affecting the Chieftaincy Laws of Ibadanland l, particularly gazettes Nos 14 Volume 42 of 23rd August, 2017; 15 Volume 42 of 24th August, 2017; 3 Volume 43 of 29th March, 2018, and the subsequent elevation of high chiefs and baales in Ibadanland as obas during the pendency of the suit be and are hereby set aside.
“That the rights to wear beaded crowns and coronets granted by the state government during the pendency of the suit are hereby revoked.”
Lana said it was surprising to see some of the high chiefs acting as obas and wearing beaded crowns and coronets.
“This is even more pronounced by the advertisement placed in the Nigerian Tribune of 25th December, 2019, by the high chiefs.
“Firstly, be it noted that this action constitutes contempt of court for which we shall not hesitate to institute proceedings.
“Secondly, the act constitutes a criminal offence under Section 28(2) of the Chief Law Cap 28 Laws of Oyo State,” Lana said.
Lana called on the Commissioner of Police, Mr Sina Olukolu to arrest any of the high chief parading himself as an Oba from now on.
“Where an order under subsection (1) of this section is in force, any person who wears a beaded crown and is not a chief entitled under the order to wear it shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction be liable to a fine of N5, 000 or to imprisonment for one year, ” he warned.