Soun stool: Very interesting as Oyo state govt goes head to head with Laoye family
The struggle over the Soun stool of Ogbomoso has entered a new stage in view of an appeal filed by the Oyo state government against the judgment of an Oyo High Court sitting in Ogbomoso last week in which the nomination and installation of the king Oba Ghandi Afolabi Olaoye were nullified.
Justice Kareem Adeyimika Adedokun, the presiding judge, in his ruling Wednesday October 25 declared “null and void” the process that produced Ghandi Olaoye sequel to which he ordered a fresh process of nomination. The judge citing the Soun Chieftaincy Declaration asserted that the family erred by sending 18 names instead of one to the kingmakers at a time. He said if the lone name sent is found suitable by the kingmakers the prince is chosen and if not, request for the name of another prince is made. The judge averred that by sending 18 names at a time the provisions of the Chieftaincy Declaration is violated.
This judgment no doubt provoked wild jubilation in the camp of the opponents of the emergence of Ghandi Olaoye in the Olaoye ruling house. Contrarily, it triggered gloom in the vast majority of Ogbomoso people whom have come to cast their lots with Oba Ghandi. The judgment most importantly rubbished the Oyo state government’s efforts in the emergence of Oba Ghandi being the consenting authority. It is indubitably a big slap on the face of the state’s helmsman, Engr Oluseyi Makinde, who all along canvassed a candidate whose emergence would not be found wanting later by the court of law.
The die is cast
In a striking move therefore, the state government has launched an assault by challenging the ruling of the High Court at the Appellate Court on the grounds among others that the judge who declared the process “right, valid and proper” in a previous ruling (on October 3, 2023) in a suit also challenging the selection of Ghandi on the basis of procedure, now turned full circle to pronounce again that the process was “wrong, invalid and improper.” This is deemed a contradictory, conflicting judgement by the same judge within a spate of three weeks.
Very interesting development! Many had thought it would be the Ghandi Olaoye who will be rushing to challenge the ruling, but no, it is the “Big Masquerade,” the Oyo state government, which felt slighted that its essence and authority is being challenged, that has filed the appeal. Oyo state government vs Olaoye family!
A complicated matter
Yes, it is not Olaoye family that has directly challenged the nomination of Oba Ghandi in court, two of the candidates rather, Princes Kabiru Muhammed Olaoye and Taofeeq Akorede Olaoye, did separately, but the outcome of one appears to suit the vocal majority in the family, as they quickly hailed the judgment even demanding the eviction of Oba Ghandi from the palace. Inevitably, this position has brought the “ruling family” in contest with the state government.
Who holds the aces?
It is God indubitably that holds all the aces! But the court cannot rule on whom to install, only the state government is constitutionally conferred with that power. A ruling family and the kingmakers also have their limits in the process (so also is the government), but in the final analysis (humanly), it is the government that still holds the aces. Even if the process unfolded under the best practice, if it is lauded as “most valid, most proper, most right,” if the state government deems otherwise and withholds assent it will come to virtually nought. That is why it is foolhardy to fight government on such matter (at least for the tenure of a particular government). That is the way it is. In the past, the kingmakers held the aces; then the people – their preference also mattered as was the case when Otunla, son of Aburumaku, usurped the stool after his father’s demise, but his action found abhorrent to the people, he was swiftly driven out sequel to which they had Gbagun in his place.
An intricate loop
One of the major reasons the subsection in Olaoye ruling house of Soun opposed the nomination of Ghandi is that, according to my findings, he belongs to the section that produced Oba last in the family – Kapelaye. The cycle began with Bayewuwon Kelebe in the second quarter of the nineteenth century. When the five ruling houses – Aburumaku, Gbagun, Olaoye, Bolanta and Odunaro – were eventually adopted in the third quarter of that century by the kingmakers, Bayewuwon’s son, Olaoye Orumogege, ruled in the second cycle. In the third cycle, his son, Olaonipekun Olaoye took the throne (1944 – 1952). Olaonipekun Olaoye came out of Kapelaye section of Olaoye ruling house. The Olaoye ruling house has ten sections (or lineages) in the present day – Bayewuwon, Kapelaye, Aremo, Daodu Olateju, Alatipo, Farayola, Bolanta, Aribaba, Bode and Ajiteru. Now, it is found from impeccable sources that the other nine sections nurse the grouse that the Kapelaye section shouldn’t be the one to produce the Oba again in the spirit of “justice and fairness.” In their estimation, Kapelaye section should have stood down and allow other sections to have a taste of the throne that has now become so enviable, thanks especially to the immediate past Soun, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III JP, CON, CFR. But because such an arrangement is not a provision of the Soun Chieftaincy Declaration i.e. It doesn’t capture internal rotation, the Kapelaye lineage is not lawfully bound to act accordingly and so contestants came out from there too, moreover the Mogaji of Olaoye ruling house, Prince Amos Olawale Olaoye, hails from there.
Interestingly now, Prince Kabir Muhammed Olaoye, whose court case sparked the current lacuna – nullification of Ghandi’s installation, is also from Kapelaye section! Let us assess the scenario – A Kapelaye prince (Ghandi) rose to the throne, another Kapelaye prince is aiming to shoot him down on the ground of circumventing the process. Supposing, supposing, supposing the race recommences, will the larger Olaoye family in one accord queue up behind him on the basis of “justice and fairness” being advocated by the larger family?
Then, will the Oyo state government as presently constituted be disposed to approving another prince in the face of the current embarrassing scenario it suffers? It is all a conjecture though! Well, ultimately, the will of God will triumph!