Indications emerged on Wednesday that the 21 new kings installed by the administration of the immediate past governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi two years ago amid controversies on Sunday August 27, 2017 may lose their crowns after all.
Precisely, Ajimobi in a well-attended ceremony handed instrument of office to the new kings on August, 2017 at the historic Mapo Hall , Ibadan.
The 21 kings came into limelight, following the controversial review of the 1957 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration and Other Related Chieftaincies in Ibadan land by a panel headed by Justice Akintunde Boade to review the old laws, which culminated in the elevation and crowning of 21 kings including Olubadan High Chiefs and Baales.
A reliable source confided in The Nation on Wednesday that state Oyo state government has opted for out of court settlement, and discontinue with the prosecution of the appeal before the Court of Appeal.
The terms of settlement between the Oyo state government (Appellant) and Senator Rashidi Ladoja (Respondent/Applicant) was filed in the Registry of the Court of Appeal, Ibadan on Tuesday August 20, 2019.
The terms of agreement which was contained in the suit No.M/317/2017 , and Appeal No. CA/99&99A/2018 reads in part
“Whereas , the parties herein are aware of the rancor and acrimony that exist upon the publication of the report of the 2nd respondent herein in relation to the Olubadan of Ibadan chieftaincy declaration and other chiefs in Ibadanland and the implementation of the said report;
Whereas, the parties are aware of the disharmony created by the publication of Gazette No. 3 Vol. 43 dated 29 March 2018 and the subsequent elevation of chiefs in Ibadan among the chiefs and the Olubadan of Ibadanland; whereas, as it is of utmost importance to maintain peace and communal relationships that had existed before the said report and Gazette in Ibadanland, whereas, the new administration of Oyo state stands upon the doctrine of rule of law “.
All the Olubadan High Chiefs, except the Osi Olubadan, Senator Rashidi Ladoja refused to accept the crown, following his disagreement with the process.
Sequel to his disagreement, Senator Ladoja and the Olubadan of Ibadanland separately dragged the former governor, the government and the 21 new kings to the Oyo State High Court.
While the court had delivered judgment in the case filed by Ladoja, it has not on the litigation instituted by Oba Adetunji.
Justice Olajumoke Aiki of an Oyo State High Court delivered the judgment on January 19, 2018, and declared that the Justice Akintunde Boade-led Judicial Commission of Enquiry that reviewed the 1957 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration and other Related Chieftaincies in Ibadanland as unconstitutional, illegal, null, void and of no effect.
But the administration of Ajimobi appealed the judgment, giving 11 grounds why the judgment of the lower court should be upturned, asking the higher court to set aside the ruling and judgment of the Oyo State High Court, an order that would uphold his preliminary objections raised against Senator Rashidi Ladoja, as well as an order that will dismiss the case in its entirety.
The Appeal Court judgment was however reserved, till the All Progressives Congress-led government left power on May 2019.
It was learnt that governor Seyi Makinde intention to reconcile all parties involved in the chieftaincy crisis was to end the protracted fued , and protect the sanctity of Ibadan traditional chieftaincy system.