Olubadan: Ladoja, Kingmakers Differ On Settlement Terms

The Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, and other kingmakers have differed on the signing of the terms of settlement to facilitate the process of the enthronement of Oba Owolabi Olakulehin as the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadanland.

The PUNCH learnt that Ladoja had indicated his willingness to withdraw the suit initiated against other members of the Olubadan-in-Council on the condition that the two parties must sign the terms of settlement as prepared.

The Otun Olubadan made this public on Wednesday, at his Bodija residence, while playing host to the visiting Compound Heads of Ibadanland, otherwise known as Mogaji, led by Chief Asimiyu Ariori.

Ladoja said, “Myself and other members of Olubadan-in-Council have been sitting together and talking. We have agreed to withdraw the case from court.

“I heard that they have started signing the agreement. After all of them have signed, I will also sign my own aspect, and the next day, we will file for withdrawal of the case from court.”

But other members of the Olubadan-in-Council and defendants in the suit have argued that there is no need for the signing of any terms of settlement paper, saying they had already abided by the 1957 Declaration.


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At a meeting held at Oja’ba Palace on Thursday were Osi Balogun, Oba Lateef Adebimpe; Asipa Olubadan, Oba Abiodun Kola-Daisi; Asipa Balogun, Kola Adegbola; Ekerin Balogun, Oba John Isioye-Dada; and Ekaarun Olubadan, Oba Adebayo Akande.

However, Ladoja and others were absent from the meeting.

The other absent kingmakers were Osi Olubadan, Oba Eddy Oyewole; Otun Balogun, Oba Tajudeen Ajibola; Ekerin Olubadan, Oba Hamidu Salaudeen; and Ekaarun Balogun, Oba Abiodun Azeez.

Oba Adebimpe, speaking on behalf of other members of the council in attendance, said events had overtaken the terms of reference as contained in the agreement paper, therefore, no need to sign it.

He said they had resolved to comply with the 1957 Chieftaincy Declaration, which empowered the most Senior High Chief, who is Ladoja, to convene the meeting of the Olubadan-in-Council.

The Osi Balogun said, “Events have overtaken the terms of settlement as stated in the paper being prepared for us to append our signatures.

“We have read through it and discovered that the terms of settlement have been met, which is in strict compliance with the 1957 Chieftaincy Declaration.

“We realised that our actions and deeds must be in accordance with the 1957 Declaration, that is why we honoured his invitation for a meeting for the nomination of Oba Owolabi Olakulehin as the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadanland.

“He (Ladoja) had called a similar meeting that we all refused to attend, but we were later made to know that we had acted contrary to the provision of the 1957 Chieftaincy Declaration.

“Our attendance at the meeting showed that we were complying with the declaration.

The nomination letter is with the state government. What is left now is for High Chief Ladoja to withdraw the pending case in court in order to facilitate the installation of the new Olubadan.”

The Asipa Olubadan, Oba Abiodun Kola Daisi, who also spoke at the meeting, disclosed that a similar scenario of litigation played itself out two years ago when the Oyo State Government insisted that it would not give any approval for the enthronement of a new monarch until a particular court case was withdrawn.

He said: “We had a similar problem before the installation of the immediate past Kabiyesi, the late Oba Senator Lekan Balogun. We instituted a court case against the government.

“Because of this, the governor insisted that he would not approve the installation of the new Olubadan until the case was withdrawn.

“The plaintiffs in the suit, 10 of us, came together and withdrew the case unconditionally from the court.

Two years down the lane, the same situation is playing itself out again. There is a case in court, not from our side, but from our Otun Olubadan, who has insisted that he would not join rank with us as crown-wearing kings. But today, the matter has been resolved.

“The new Olubadan has been recommended. We are waiting for approval from the government, but there is a case in the court that needs to be withdrawn.

“The terms of settlement as contained in the agreement paper that we are expected to sign have been overtaken by events.

“We are asked to sign that we will abide by the 1957 Chieftaincy Declaration, we are already doing that. What are we signing again?

“The summary of the terms of settlement is that we are going to follow the 1957 Chieftaincy Declaration in choosing another Olubadan.

“What that declaration says is that the Otun Olubadan, the highest ranking on the other side, will convene the meeting of the kingmakers.

“He called the meeting the first time, but we refused to attend because our status is different. But we realised that we had acted outside the Declaration and we later complied with his directives.

The nomination of the new Olubadan has reached the government. We are waiting for the approval.”

The PUNCH reports that at an April 12 meeting convened by Ladoja, the Olubadan-in-Council unanimously nominated Oba Olakulehin to Governor Seyi Makinde for installation as the next Olubadan of Ibadan.

All the kingmakers attended the meeting, except the Otun Balogun, Oba Tajudeen Ajibola, who had insisted that Oba Olakulehin was not physically fit to be installed as the next Olubadan.

Following the decision of the kingmakers at the April 12 meeting, Oba Olakulehin’s name was subsequently transmitted to the governor for approval.


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