Olubadan: Ex-attorney-general identifies another lacuna in succession controversy

Olubadan: Ex-attorney-general identifies another lacuna in succession controversy




A former attorney-general and commissioner for justice in Oyo state, Mr. Michael Lana, has weighed in in the controversy surrounding the selection of a new Olubadan of Ibadan.


Recall a meeting summoned by Otun Olubadan, High Chief Rsshidi Adewolu Ladoja, who is by custom saddled with the task, to ratify the nomination of the new Olubadan, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, was shunned by the other kingmakers, claiming High Chief Ladoja is a chief, and so, not qualified to chair a meeting over them.


While the other high chiefs accepted to be upgraded to the status of an Oba after lbadan chieftaincy review enacted by the former governor of the state, late Abiola Ajimobi, Ladoja on the other hand rebuffed the offer saying it contravenes Ibadan tradition and therefore is currently challenging the review in court.


But according to Lana, who was legal counsel to Ladoja before the enthronement of the late Olubadan, Oba Mohood Balogun, the action of the elevated Obas might be counterproductive should Ladoja decide to fight back.


He made this revelation in an interview with Oyo Insight.


Lana, who was the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, in the 2023 general elections, said, “under the Olubadan Declaration, only high chiefs and not Obas can nominate an Olubadan. If they toe this line of argument that a non-Oba could not chair the meeting of the Obas, then their meeting is null and void and any nomination made by them as Obas is invalid.”


He continued, “In law, we view the capacity in which a thing is to be done. A person usually has multiple capacities with each capacity controlled by different laws. In this case, the High Chiefs qua high chiefs have a roll different from the high chiefs qua Obas. The elevated Obas are in dual capacity; one as Oba and the other as High Chief. As Obas, they cannot nominate a person for the stool of Olubadan; they can only do so as High Chiefs. In the latter capacity, their most senior chief is Chief Ladoja who is also the only person that can validly call a meeting for the purpose of nominating the candidate for the Olubadan stool. I think the elevated Obas should note this difference in their capacities.


“This is part of the problem I knew would happen ab initio. Let me break it down: In the process of nomination of a candidate to fill a chieftaincy, the first document you look at is the Chieftaincy Declaration pertaining to that Chieftaincy.


“In elevating the chiefs to Obas, their Chieftaincy Declarations were not amended. Under the defunct White Paper of Ajimobi, it was stated that the Obas would be chiefs under the Olubadan.


“Under the Declaration, the following are the Kingmakers Otun Olubadan, Osi Olubadan, Ashipa Olubadan, Ekerin Olubadan, Iyalode, the Balogun, Otun Balogun, Osi Balogun, Ashipa Balogun, Ekerin Balogun and Seriki (which is no more).


“To nominate a candidate, the most senior chief in the line that is NOT producing the candidate shall summon a meeting where the chiefs in the line that will produce the candidate shall do the nomination.


“Note that it doesn’t talk of an Oba in the lines but a chief. Secondly, Ladoja is the most senior in the line that is NOT producing the candidate and the only person that MUST summon the meeting,” Lana clarified.


In the meantime, the Olubadan-designate, Oba Olakulehin, has remained incommunicado since the demise of late Oba Balogun on March 14, fueling speculation that he might be battling serious ailments though one of his sons recently debunked the insinuation.

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