Deji Of Akure Drags Akeredolu To Court Over Iralepo Stool

By Oluwole Francis

Following the kingship tussle in the Akure Kingdom, the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo, has dragged the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, to court over the lingering crisis surrounding the ascension to the stool of Iralepo of Isinkan.

Oba Aladetoyinbo approached the Ondo State High Court, Akure, to seek an interlocutory injunction restraining Akeredolu, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice alongside six other defendants over the kingship crisis.

He prayed the court to stop the defendants from effecting the selection of the new Iralepo of Isikan, “pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.” It was gathered that a hearing of the case is scheduled for November 15, 2021.

The plaintiffs are the Deji, the Lisa of Akure Land, High Chief F.S Olubodun; the Sao of Akure, Chief M.A Adebayo; the Asamo of Akure, High Chief R.F Olusanya and the Ajana of Akure, High Chief O. Olalusi.

The defendants are Governor Akeredolu, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of Ondo State, Funmilayo Afe, Olasehinde Abidakun, James Kolawole, Williams Tafa, Gbenga Ojo and Bayo Ojo.

Oba Aladelusi is also asking the court to restrain the state Attorney General and other defendants from presenting themselves for the installation of the new Iralepo, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

A few weeks ago, Isinkan kingmakers, in an election process under the supervision of Akure South Local Council, had elected Prince Oluwagbenga Adimula Ojo as the Iralepo-elect.

Shortly after that, on October 4, the Deji installed another Prince, Henry Adeyeye in his palace to defy the kingmakers’ election supervised by the state government officials, represented by the Chairman of Akure South local government, Gbenga Fasua.

Speaking on the suit against the state government and others, the Chief Press Secretary to Oba Aladetoyinbo, Michael Adeyeye, said: “The Deji is just asking the court to interpret judgments of the Appeal and Supreme courts.

“The government had not officially recognised Iralepo, and we are aware of that, though there are some political moves by some individuals. So, it is just for the court to ensure that the judgment of the Appeal and the Supreme Court is upheld.

“We discovered that the Isikan people have suddenly turned themselves to court, interpreting the judgment. However, we don’t want to be confrontational, we must allow peace to reign. That is why Deji in his wisdom decided to avoid unnecessary crisis ”

But Ojo, the Iralepo, who emerged in the election process supervised by the state government, said the litigation embarked on by the Deji is “dead on arrival.”

Ojo, who reacted through his media aide, Mr. Oladimeji Babatunde, explained, “The status quo that is obvious to the blind and audible to the deaf is that there is a new Oba in Isinkan, according to the traditions and custom of Isinkan Land.

“Verifiable facts equally affirm that there was a free and fair selection process for filling the then-vacant position of Oba Iralepo of Isinkan. The selection was conducted by the Uharefa of Isinkan with officials of the Akure South Local Government as observers and independent moderators.

“The process was properly concluded and the outcome publicly announced.

This fact was well televised and broadcast all over the world. The Uharefa and the people of Isinkan thereafter meticulously followed their traditions and custom by performing all necessary traditional rites.

“The traditional rite of assumption of Ojopo, that is the assumption of office, preceded by his final presentation to the people at the “Okitiomolore” ceremony had been concluded”.

Ojo, who has concluded all the ancient rites, said the Alodu (female Regent) had already exited the Aaafin for the new Oba. And Kabiyesi had effectively taken charge of the affairs of Isinkan.

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