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21 Ibadan obas: Court helps Ladoja defeat Ajimobi

*We shall appeal against the court order – Ajimobi

By Debo Adeoye, Ibadan

Justice Olajumoke Aiki sitting in an Oyo State High Court on Friday declared the review of the 1957 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration and other Related Chieftaincies in Ibadan land by the Justice Akintunde Boade Review Commission, which was set up by the Oyo State government, as unconstitutional, illegal, null, void and of no effect.

The commission had recommended, among others, the creation of several monarchs in Ibadan which led to the installation of 21 kings by the state Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

Gov. Ajimobi, Olubadan, Ladoja...the major actors in the case
Gov. Ajimobi, Olubadan, Ladoja…the major actors in the case

The Osi Olubadan of Ibadan land, Chief Rashidi Ladoja, challenged the composition and recommendations of the commission in court, joining Ajimobi as co-defendant.

While delivering judgment, Justice Aiki held that wearing of beaded crowns was beyond the purview of sections 10, 12 and 25 of the Oyo State Chiefs Law, stating that Section 25 of the Chiefs Law could not be treated in isolation to the provisions of Parts Two and Three of the Chiefs Laws.

The court also said provisions of Parts Two and Three of the Chiefs Laws, particularly sections 10, 12 and 25, did not give power to the governor to review the Olubadan chieftaincy declaration, while also restraining the government from accepting and implementing the reports of the commission.

Aside Ladoja, the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, also sued Ajimobi and 23 others, over their involvements in the crowning of 21 kings in Ibadan on 27th August, 2017.

We shall appeal: Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has declared that the state government will appeal against Friday’s judgment of an Ibadan High Court which declared the review of the 1957 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration and Other Related Chieftaincies as illegal and null and void.

Ajimobi made this known during the inauguration of a block of classrooms donated to the Community Secondary School Ajara in Lagelu local government area of the state by a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Akinlolu Olujinmi (SAN) on Friday.

He declared that his earlier position that the review, which culminated in the 27th August, 2017 installation of 21 new Obas, among whom were some erstwhile high chiefs and baales was an altruistic gesture that was for the overall good of Ibadanland.

“Today’s judgment on the Olubadan Chieftaincy review will be appealed against immediately. Let me reiterate here that the review was an exercise that was well thought out. It is for the development and progress of Ibadanland and the people therein.

“We will not relent in our determination to make Ibadan great and the greatness shall come through various ways, one of which was the Olubadan chieftaincy review that was conducted by a judicial commission of inquiry.

“The truth is that people are normally opposed to change and radical policies that will eventually be beneficial to them, but we shall get there. We will not be deterred or allow retrogressive tendencies to override the progress Oyo State is currently making.”

Ajimobi while commending the donor for giving back to his place of birth, called on others people to emulate the gesture, which, he said, would go a long way to complement the efforts of the government in developing the education sector.

He also advised parents to play their parts in giving qualitative education to their children in order to safeguard their future.

He said that the event was another testament to the success of the School Governing Board (SGB) policy of his administration, adding that many schools had been transformed following the intervention of the SGB members.

“Today, we are celebrating another milestone in the success of the SGB policy with the commissioning of this project. Our foremost lawyer and son of the soil, Chief Akinlolu Olujimi, has bought into our policy direction aimed at restructuring our education system.

“I enjoin you all to let us continue to work hand-in-hand to further change the face of education in our state. I’m elated that we have been getting positive results from our various policies on education. I, therefore, call on other people of means to lend a hand,”‎ he said.

Olujinmi while speaking said that he was happy to have contributed to the growth of education, especially in his own community, stating that he had decided to build another block of four classrooms in the same school.

He advised the students to concentrate on their studies so as to become great in the future and for them to also be in a good position to pay back to their communities.

“The SGB policy of the Governor Ajimobi administration is laudable. It has paved the way for somebody like me to contribute to the development of education in my locality and by extension in Oyo State.

“It is left for you students to reciprocate this gesture by forging ahead to attain excellence in your academic pursuits. The government has done its bit. It is your responsibility as beneficiaries of this progressive policy to aim for greatness”, he said.

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