The Ogbolu and Oluwole lineages, the ruling houses which produced the first to 11th Aseyin of Iseyin, have urged Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde to suspend the planned presentation of staff of office to the new Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Semiu Oyebola, on December 14 pending the determination of a suit instituted against his selection and nomination.
The suit was instituted at an Oyo State High Court sitting in Iseyin in April 2023. It was slated for hearing on June 20, but the hearing could not hold as the judge was assigned to serve in an election petition in another state thereby stalling the suit.
In August, however, Oba Oyebola was nominated by the kingmakers as the new Aseyin of Iseyin.
On completion of the process, the governor announced approval of Oyebola’s nomination in November. The Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Prince Dotun Oyelade, subsequently announced that the monarch’s coronation has been slated for December 14, 2023. Iseyin is now agog in preparation for the ceremony.
But in a letter addressed to the governor on Friday, the ruling houses reminded him of the pendency of the suit challenging Oyebola’s nomination, and urged him to suspend the planned coronation in the interest of justice and rule of law.
The suit was filed by Princes Abdulhaniy Oladeni Bolanle and Moshood Adelabu on behalf of Ogbolu and Oluwole lineages.
In the letter signed by their lawyer, Mr A. G. Adeniran, the claimants contended that the state government should be conscious of the pendency of a suit no: HOI/04/2023 before the Oyo State High Court, sitting in Iseyin, over the contest for the stool of the ancient town.
The claimants filed a motion ex parte and motion on notice for interlocutory injunction restraining the governor and kingmakers from approving Oyebola as the new Aseyin of Iseyin and even filling the vacant stool pending the determination of the suit.
The claimants are seeking “a declaration that under the native law and custom of Yoruba land, and of Iseyin in particular, it is the descendants of the founder of a town that are entitled to produce the traditional ruler of that town;
“a declaration that it is the family of the claimants who are the descendants of Ogbolu, the founder of Iseyin and whose family produced the 1st to 11th Aseyins of Iseyin who are entitled to produce Aseyins of Iseyin;
“an order directing the defendants to fill the vacancy now existing in the Aseyin of Iseyin chieftaincy by inviting the family of the claimants to present the next candidates for appointment as the Aseyin of Aseyin;
“an order of this Honourable Court setting aside the 1964 Aseyin of Iseyin Chieftaincy Declaration which recognised the three ruling houses of Akande, Olugbile and Majaro which are not descendants of Ogbolu, the founder of Iseyin and which are not the lineal descendants of the 1st to 11th Aseyins of Iseyin for being contrary to native law and custom of Yorubaland and of Iseyin in particular;
“an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from nominating, selecting, appointing or approving the appointment of anyone who is not from the family of the claimants as the next Aseyin of Iseyin;
“an order of this Honourable Court setting aside any purported nomination, selection, appointment or approval of appointment or any other step that has been taking by any of the defendants to appoint anyone who is not from the family of the claimants as the next Aseyin of Iseyin.”
Other respondents in the suit are the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, the kingmakers, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mogaji Amusa Ariori on behalf of the ruling houses that produced Oyebola and Ismaheel Odubiyi on behalf of kingmakers.