Alaafin: Nine houses allege marginalisation, call Oyo govt to stop selection

The ongoing process to fill the vacant stool of the Alaafin of Oyo is in the eye of the storm with nine royal houses alleging bias against their right to the revered throne.

During a Press Conference they hosted in Oyo yesterday, the families, piloted by Prince Ademola Adesina Afolabi, called on the Oyo State Government to stop the exercise pending a court case against the alleged removal of their names from list of the ruling houses.

He said the state government is empowered by Section 10, Subsection 3 of the Oyo State Chieftancy Law to intervene on the matter for public interest.

Afolabi noted that an enduring peace had always reigned among children of Alaafin Atiba on matter of succession to the throne until 1961 when Alaafin Gbagbadesein of the Agunloye rulling house allegedly made a declaration restricting the stool to only two houses.

However, according to him, the Western State Government led by Colonel Adeyinka Adebayo, constituted a panel of enquiry headed by Justice Ladeinde Adekunle, which recommended, in contrast to Gbadegesin’s declaration, that all children of Atiba have right to the throne. The recommendation was upheld by the 1976 Commission of Enquiry.

Afolabi stated, “Subsequently, 1993 was the Oloko Commission of Enquiry which also upheld the decision of Adekunle Ladeinde of 1976 that there should be a single rulling house in Oyo, regarding the stool of Alaafin to be called Atiba rulling house which is to include all the descendants of Alaafin Atiba.

“Another development, in year 2001 where the then Governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Lam Adesina presented through his Secretary, Micheal Koleoso into law the white paper and decision of Oloko enquiry, with an option that Atiba local Government should make amendments which will include all other excluded royal families. You will recall that Justice Ladeinde of 1976 declared 11 royal families to be the descendants of Alaafin Atiba, which are the Agunloye, Alowolodu, Adeitan, Adediran Ese Apata, Adesiyan, Iteade Abidekun, Olaniite, Adelabu baba Ibadan, Baba Idode, Tella Okiti Papa and Tella Agbojulogun royal families, all should be included in the new order which can benefit and contest for the stool of Alaafin.”

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“In year 2004, there was another development which is negative and was not in our knowledge, the late monarch, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi went to court with Oyo State Government amending or removing the sections of the consenting authority of the volume 2001 gazette, this happened without our consent and we were not even put in copy, and we are not in any way part of that. Upon which the Oyo State government attorney general stated categorically have withdrawn the consenting authority which had been an issue on the volume 26 of the gazette. And Justice Moshood Abass, who presided over that matter, said that once that has been dismissed that as a friend of the court what does both lawyers want him to decide upon.”

He further said, “the Ministry of Justice lawyer said the justice should dismiss the case, while the lawyer representing the late monarch said that all their prayers should be granted, including the cancellation in perpetuality of the Atiba descendants aspect of that volume 26”.

Afolabi revealed that one of the aggrieved, Prince Olaniite, approached a court on the implementation of year 2001 gazette but was shock to know that “there are no gazette of 2001, no white paper regarding that, to which until he started applying now that we get to know that there is a judgment resisting the government to make any amendments.”

He noted that though the 1979 Constitution and the 1999 Constitution (as ammended) did not empower an individual or group to challenge a chieftaincy law, the Oyo State Government “should allow the processing of the court of law in 2020, the other processes in the court at the moment and the one that will come up in weeks time. They should allow the judiciary to complete and conclude the matter before continuing with the process of choosing or installing new Alaafin.

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“We now plead that going by Ojukwu vs military administrator of Lagos state I quote 1986 JELR51747, a Supreme Court decision, that the judiciary is empowered to decide independently. So we seek for discontinuation of choosing Alaafin that is ongoing for the past one week, which excluded all other royal families that was recommended and approved my the commission of enquiry, “he said.

In attendance at the conference included Princes Makanjuola Adediran (Adediran-Ese Apata); Adebowale Adesiyan (Adesiyan); Adediwura Lamola (Olanite); and Adetunji Adesokan (Adesokan Baba Idode).

Others are Princes Agboin Olayiwola (Adelabu Baba Ibadan); Ademola Adesina Afolabi (Adeitan); Remi Azeez (Tella Okitipapa); Adekunle Bello (Iteade Abidekun); and Tella Agbojulogun (Agbojulogun) who was away in Lagos but was said to have given his consent.

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