Oyo High Court Dismisses 21 Controversial Obas

An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan on Friday, has declared the judicial commission of inquiry set up by Gov. Abiola Ajimobi to review the 1957 Chieftaincy Declaration of Ibadanland as unconstitutional, illegal and of no effect.

Oyo State Governor, Gov. Abiola Ajimobi had on May 19, 2017, set up a commission to review the 1957 chieftaincy declaration and other related chieftaincies in Ibadan under the leadership of RTD. Justice Akintunde Boade.

The commission, had submitted its report to the governor on Aug. 18, 2017 recommending 32 beaded-crown Obas in Ibadan while the Olubadan remained as paramount ruler of Ibadanland.

But former governor of the state and Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, Sen. Rashidi Ladoja, had dragged Ajimobi and Boade to court, claiming that the composition of the committee would affect his ambition of becoming the Olubadan.

Delivering judgment, Justice Olajumoke Aiki, said Sections 10,12 and 25 of the Oyo State Chiefs Law do not empower the governor to set up the committee. Aiki also said that the governor cannot delegate power on what he does not possess. “ Wearing of beaded crown is outside Sections 10, 12 and 25 of the Oyo State Chiefs Law.

“ The procedures of part 2 and 3 of the Oyo State Chiefs Law under Sections 10,12 and 25 do not empower the governor to set up any commission of inquiry to review the 1957 Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration. “ All powers, be it legislative or judicial, must be traced to the validity of the constitution. “ The governor of Oyo State exercised his power outside the power conferred on him by the chiefs law and I declare the exercise as unconstitutional and illegal,’’ the judge said.

Aiki further restrained the governor from accepting and implementing the report of the committee. Counsel to Ajimobi, Mr Nurudeen Adegboye, said after the court session that the decision to appeal the judgment rests with his client. But counsel to Ladoja, Mr Babatunde Akinola, commended the judge, saying the judgment was well delivered.

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