Just on Tuesday, the ancient city of Ibadan in Oyo State was thrown into mourning following the demise of their Oba, the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade, which left the throne vacant. The ascension and succession process to the throne may become a tough tussle as a two top Ibadan chiefs have laid claim to the coveted throne.
History has it that hardly has there been any confusion over who takes the Olubadan throne following the death of an occupant, tradition has it that a hierarchical order of ascension existed which made Ibadan distinct from other Yoruba towns.
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While the Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Saliu Adetunji following his recent elevation by the late Oba Odugade to that position, qualifies him to be the next in rank for the coronation after the late monarch, members of the Seriki Line in the Ibadan Chieftaincy System said they have filed a motion against the installation of Adetunji as the next Olubadan. The Head of Seriki Line, Chief Adebayo Oyediji, who is 89 has claimed he, not Adetunji, should be the next monarch because the Seriki Line had already secured an injunction against any promotion in the Olubadan-in-Council.
On Wednesday at the Alusekere Compound, Popoyemoja Ibadan, it was jubilation galore at Adetunji’s residence, as people stormed his residence to rejoice with him and congratulate him as the next-in-line to the throne.
Adetunji, 87, who became the Mogaji (Head) of his family in 1976, is a prominent music promoter and owner of Babalaje Record Company, he maintained that;
“Tradition and Ibadan royal succession system demand that since I am next to the late monarch, I should be the next Olubadan of Ibadanland.
“I pray that God will grant the late king a good rest. He was a wonderful person who we all loved. Ibadan people and visitors among us should expect good things from God in my time. Our economy will improve and peace will reign in my time.”
He promised to strengthen the existing peace in Ibadan, stressing that the city would witness economic boom during his reign as the Olubadan.
On the other hand, Oyediji, 89, alleged that the Olubadan-in-Council disregarded the rule of law in the succession process. Stating, “I am the next to be installed (the) Olubadan and not Adetunji.” Oyediji said in Ibadan on Wednesday.
Oyediji warned the kingmakers, the Olubadan-in-Council, not to flout what he called a 1989 ruling of the Supreme Court by installing Adetunji as successor to the late Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade, who died on Tuesday.
Oyediji said a motion filed on behalf of the Seriki family by his lawyer, A.G. Adeniran, before the Oyo State Chief Judge, Justice Mukthar Abimbola, stated that the Seriki obtained a Supreme Court judgment which favoured their admittance into the Olubadan ruling line. He said since 1989 when the judgment was obtained, the Olubadan -in-Council had refused to respect it.
He said the last Otun Seriki, Chief Adisa Akinloye was denied the opportunity to become Olubadan before he died in 2007, claiming that Seriki family was the third line in the Olubadan succession system.
“The problem with the Seriki line started with the making of the 1959 Ekerin Balogun of Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration which put Seriki under the Ekerin Balogun of Ibadan and provided for the first time that Seriki can only be promoted to Ekerin Balogun only if the Ashipa and Ekerin Balogun titles become vacant at the same time.”
Oyediji said the motion was also seeking the order of the court, setting aside the appointments made by the late Olubadan to fill vacancies existing in the chieftaincy titles of Ekerin Olubadan, Ashipa Olubadan, Osi Olubadan, Otun Olubadan and Balogun Olubadan of Ibadan from November 21, 2008, to the last appointments made on January 1, 2016.
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One of the motions according to him, would be heard on January 28, 2016.
A suit had earlier been filed by the Seriki Line before the High Court of Oyo State against the state governor, Attorney General of the state, Olubadan, former Otun Olubadan, Chief Omowale Kuye, former Balogun of Ibadanland, Chief Suleiman Omiyale, the incumbent Balogun, Chief Saliu Adetunji, as well as Chiefs Adeleke Ajani, Busari Alarape and Lati Omotosho.