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Open Letter To Governor Makinde: LG Commissioner And Travesty Of Justice Undermining Omi Titun 2.0 Agenda | Adeolu Samuel

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Warm greetings to you, Your Excellency, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Engr Oluseyi Makinde, the Jagunmolu of Ondo Kingdom and the People’s Governor of Oyo State. I am writing this piece to draw your attention to an issue and bring to light some rot in the system.

Recent events in Iresaadu, Oyo State, have highlighted a distressing issue that threatens the very fabric of justice and peace in the state. Despite your untiring efforts to uphold the rule of law and fairness in governance, matters of the traditional institution inclusive, it has become evident that certain individuals within your cabinet are working to subvert your noble effort. Your predecessor appointed Oba Abraham Olafimihan Adeyeye Oyerinde on May 24, 2019 as Aresaadu, after compelling evidence of due process being followed in the selection. However, it has come to light that a senior government official’s surreptitious roles have unduly interfered with the rightful release of the Oba’s entitlements. Initially, it was thought that the crisis brewed because of the transition of government from one party to another, but you have demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that partisanship doesn’t influence your decisions on matters of public interest.

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The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Barrister Olasunkanmi Olaleye, was in charge of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters when this crisis began. It is pertinent to mention that Barr Olasunkanmi Olaleye is from the opposing Emiolu ruling House in Iresaadu Surulere Local Government of Oyo State. Although, as an expected stakeholder in the progress of Iresaadu, his role in this issue has remained questionable and contrariwise until the present moment.

In a letter of reminder dated May 17, 2021, the appointed Oba Abraham Olafimihan Adeyeye Oyerinde raised serious concerns about the unjust withholding of his entitlements and payments, despite multiple court judgments delivered in his favor. The letter sheds light on a series of disturbing events that have obstructed this traditional ruler from performing his rightful duties and receiving his allowances, inadvertently affecting the town’s progress over the last five years.

Furthermore, it was revealed that even the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, after approving the payments, yet there has been no compliance of any sort from the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters. This interference is disturbing and raises alarming questions about the integrity of the justice system in Oyo State. The current Aresaadu of Iresaadu from Osunbiyi Ruling House was appointed on May 24, 2019, in obedience to a Court of Appeal judgment delivered in 2015 after legal advice was issued by the Ministry of Justice to the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters. However, the Ministry of Local Government has since not recognized nor paid the entitlements of the Aresaadu even after several letters demanding the entitlements. Being frustrated, the Aresadu approached the court, and the court gave judgment in his favor. Ministry of Justice till date has given three separate legal advices to Ministry of Local Government, dated November 12, 2019; July 27, 2023; and January 11, 2024, but the Commissioner is yet to comply. Three separate follow-up meetings have been held with the Commissioner for Local Government without success. Each time the Commissioner would call Barr. Lasun Olaleye, the Commissioner for Agric for his view without recourse to facts in the file on the matter. Instead of the Commissioner for Local Government relying on the record in the Ministry file and the Legal advices from the Ministry of Justice, he prefers to listen to Barr. Olaleye, who is an interested party. Barr Olaleye, the Commissioner of Agric, is from Emiolu Ruling House, which the court had given judgment that it’s not their turn. The suit filed by Emiolu Ruling house seeking relief that it’s their turn has been dismissed on March 24, 2023 and there is no pending appeal, meaning they have accepted the court decision on the matter. The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy matters is poised to set up an administrative process to nominate a candidate from Emioluruling House for Obaship in violation of existing court judgements and contrary to Legal Advices from Ministry of Justice. The consequences of such action, if allowed to materialize, will only give rise to chaos and upheavals in the community if another Oba emerges parallel to the substantive one.

I will like to remind Your Excellency Sir; you have not only made rule of law and fairness your goal but you also uphold it. This was evident when in June 2020, you directed an investigation into the allegation of forgery of Ministry of Local Government’s letterheaded paper by some officials of Surulere Local Government dated March 9, 2020 stating that your Excellency has ordered the stoppage of installation or any form of chieftaincy ceremony in Iresaadu, at the time when the process had already been concluded in 2019. Your Excellency also directed that a written assurance should be sent to Aresaadu, HRM Oba Olafimihan Adeyeye on 2nd July 2020 that the matter would be adequately investigated, but the instruction is yet to be carried out or the report was not presented to you Sir. The duo of Commissioners for Local Government and that of Agriculture, by this sinister move, are antagonists/at variance to the policy of equity, justice and fairness of the government. The Ministry of Justice on 11th January, 2024 advised the Ministry of Local Government explicitly that: having a civil case in court cannot delay or serve as a bar to the payment of allowances and benefits due to a serving Oba. This is in line with court judgment of 2nd February 2021 which ordered the recognition and payment of Oba Adeyeye Olafimihan’sentitlements.

It is worrisome also that the government is prosecuting a case in court against its own action despite the legal advices from the Ministry of Justice in favor of the Oba in compliance with the court judgment. The case was firmed out to Barr Okin, an external solicitor, using taxpayers’ money when the lawyers in the Justice Ministry declined to participate in illegality. The case came up at Ogbomoso High Court No.2 on December 12, 2023, where Mr. Okin argued vehemently in court that Aresaadu has not been appointed contrary to the undeniable documentary evidence in government files. The court struck out the case first on January 23, 2024, they refiled it, and again the court struck it out in March 21, 2024. They have refiled again in seemingly endless and ridiculous Nollywood comedy series.

At the moment, Oyo State Commissioner of Local Government is on the verge of appointing a parallel Oba at Iresaadu in contempt of court judgment and legal advice from the Attorney General of Oyo State. Despite bringing this matter to the attention of the Governor and prompt instruction from YourExcellency for investigation and rectification, these conspirators and agents of destabilization have insisted on subverting justice, the instructions of the Governor notwithstanding. The overall picture painted by this issue is one of flagrant abuse of power and obstruction of justice, leaving the Aresaadu of Iresaadu to endure a harrowing ordeal at the hands of certain officials for selfish reasons. It is clear that the actions of these individuals have not only impeded the Oba from fulfilling his responsibilities but also served to undermine the principles of justice, equity, and fairness that form the foundation of a just society, which Governor Seyi Makinde not only believes in but practicing.  

OUR PRAYERS:

1. That His Excellency in his characteristic manner steps in to investigate this grievous allegations and let justice prevail.

2. That His Excellency would call for and peruse the Court rulings and legal counsels from the Ministry of Justice on this matter.

3. Ensure the Aresaadu, HRM Oba Abraham OlafimihanAdeyeye Oyerinde is rightfully recognized according to court rulings and duly compensated with his arrears accordingly.

4. That His Excellency use your highly revered office to ensure such travesty of Justice in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters are stopped and should not be allowed to rear its ugly head again.

Your Excellency, please be assured of our utmost regards and you can count on our loyalty any time.

Long live Engr Seyi Makinde, long live Oyo State.

Signed.

Adeolu Samuel, BSc, MA.

adeolusamuel625@gmail.com

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