The Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, has opposed the approval granted by the Oyo State Government to 48 traditional leaders in the state to start wearing crowns and coronets.
He said it was against the rule of law because of the existing cases connected to 21 of the beneficiaries.
The state government had on April 26, 2018, approved beaded crowns and coronets for the 48 kings across the state after a meeting between the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs and Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
Among the 48 beneficiaries are the 21 new Ibadan kings that were installed by the governor on August 27, 2017, which generated controversy and several suits in court.
One of the cases against the installation was filed by the Osi Olubadan of Ibadan land, Rashidi Ladoja.
Ladoja succeeded in getting a court ruling which nullified the process of elevation of high chiefs and baales to the status of oba. The ruling has been appealed by the state governor.
While justifying the approval for the wearing of coronets and beaded crowns, the government said the move was in line with the exercise of powers conferred on the governor by Section 28(1) of the Chiefs Law Cap 28, Vol. 1 Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria. It added that the decision was taken after due consultation in a meeting with members of the Council of Obas and Chiefs in the state.
Speaking to journalists on the approval, the counsel for Olubadan, Adeniyi Ajewole, said the governor had no power to call a meeting of the Council of Obas and Chief because the power resided with the Olubadan who was the chairman of the council.
He said, “From what we learnt, the Oyo State Government approved beaded crowns and coronets for 48 kings in the state. Incidentally, it includes all the 21 kings that the state governor upgraded to the status of obaship last year and which led to instituting several cases against the government in court.
“As the legal adviser to the Olubadan, what the state government did amounts to a comedy of tragedy especially by including people whose cases are still in court. Apart from the case decided already, and which the state has appealed, there are four other cases in court. One of them is the one filed by the Olubadan which is still pending before the Oyo State High Court.
“Is the government saying those cases are no more in existence especially when the state and the elevated chiefs are party to it? I don’t know how the government received such ill advice. The court will not allow itself to be used by the executive arm of government. We are in a democracy and we must respect the rule of law.”
Asked if the presence of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, who is a first-class king in the state, could validate the sitting of the obas and chiefs council, Ajewole said it was impossible because the Alaafin had also filed a case against the council and the case was still pending.