The new obas in Ibadan 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.
According to the Oniroko of Iroko, Oba Ismaila Opeola, 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, said ‘the three-year old crisis which rocked the Ibadan Chieftaincy System was 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 Olubadan’s claims. ‘None of us, the Royal Majesties (High Chiefs) or the Royal Highnesses (Baales) has dropped our crown or coronets’, he said.
The monarch explained that the consent judgment 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 Kunle Sobaloju, lawyer to the Ibadan Obas, Oniroko said: “The consent judgment 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 judgment did not represent the terms of settlement entered by the parties.”
Oba Opeola, who described the Olubadan’s submission as a product of misinformation, said: “It is settled law that once a matter is in court, none of the parties has the right to take the law into his hands or do anything that will prejudice the hearing.”
It was learnt that to confirm the ruse that the three-year old rift had ended, 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 last Friday.
The boycott, it was gathered, was to protest their alleged exclusion from the process leading to the choice of the 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 indicated 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.