Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi Odundun II, the Deji of Akure Kingdom.
Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi Odundun II, the Deji of Akure Kingdom.

With the frantic effort by Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), to end chieftaincy-related controversies and crises across the state, peace has returned to the state’s various communities following the last straw that broke the back of the problem that is the Ajama Commission of Enquiry Report backed up with a White Paper detailing the government approvals of same, our investigations have shown.

Reminiscence of the Old Akure Division arrangement, however, the problem appears to still rear its head as elements believed to be working for the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi, would not stop to go to court to stop the such widely applauded effort of the government.

The latest is the issue of Olu of Eleyewo, a community in Akure North Local Government Area that the Ondo State Government’s White Paper approved and recognised to now be headed by an Oba among 62 newly upgraded Obas across the state, last year.

They include the Ilu-Abo community, where the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Olu Falae, appointed long ago as Olu (of Baale status) is now an Oba and prescribing authority of his own town and member of the traditional ruler’s council of Akure North Local Government headquartered in Iju-Itaogbolu under a different chairman, as against that of Akure South with headquarters in Akure, where another chairman sits.

The complaint, according to our sources, is that the Palace of the Deji of Akure through its Media Office is now busy posting and sharing certain links to report, across social media platforms titled, “ELEYOWO OBASHIP TUSSLE COURT STOPS ONDO GOVERNMENT FROM INSTALLING MR. OLOMI ADESINA AGUNBIADE AS OLU OF ELEYOWO”. See Link: https://heromagazines.com/eleyowo-obaship-tussle-court-stops-ondo-government-from-installing-mr-olomi-adesina-agunbiade-as-olu-of-eleyowo/

The attitude of the Deji’s palace is causing annoyance in certain quarters, especially in Akure North, where concerned members said it portrays the Deji himself as the propeller behind the court suit by one Chief Ojo Boboye, viewed as not just to stop Agunbiade from becoming Olu of Eleyowo but mainly also to stop the community from becoming a kingdom so as not to be free from the control of the Deji, although the state government, the only prescribing authority to recognise or dethrone an Oba, has approved an Oba for the community.

However, when investigated, it was confirmed that a judicial injunction (but not a judgment) on Monday, January 16, 2023, existed, which restrained the state government from installing the Olu of Eleyowo-elect, Oba Olomi Adesina Agunbiade, pending the determination of the motion before it, which requires that all “parties are to maintain status quo and not undertake or do anything that has not yet been done regarding the said Chieftaincy as at today, 16th January, 2023″, the report said.

According to the report, Justice A. O Adebusoye gave the injunction on Monday meaning that all parties remain as they are until determination of court on the suit AK/457/2022 filed by Chief Ojo Boboye, said to have been appointed by the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi, as Olu in the community that has now been approved to be headed by an Oba seeking that Agunbiade should not be recognized as the Olu of Eleyowo.

Boboye’s challenge of Adesina Agunbiade’s installation to the stool of Olu of Eleyowo as a substantive Oba, said to have been scheduled for presentation of his Staff of Office and Instrument of Appointment by the Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu (SAN) this Tuesday January 17, 2023, was explained in the report.

It said Boboye’s claims were on the grounds that an earlier court judgment had recognised Eleyowo as part of communities under the control of the Deji, meaning that the person (himself) appointed by the Deji of Akure Kingdom as Olu of Eleyowo is the legally appointed chief.

Justice A.O Adebusoye, however, adjourned the matter to the 20th of February 2023 for hearing of the motion on notice.

The DEFENDER’s investigations further revealed that in a report published in Champion Newspaper Online, dated April 20, 2020, titled, ‘Deji remains consenting authority in Akure Kingdom traditional hierarchy’, the Deji of Akure Kingdom in Ondo State, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, reacting to reports in some national dailies and social media on the Eleyowo Chieftaincy dispute involving him and Oloba of Oba-Ile, Oba Joseph Agunbiade, had said:

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Oloba of Oba-Ile, Oba Joseph Agunbiade had approached the Ondo State High court in a suit No AK/28/2017 to challenge the Deji’s power as the consenting authority over the appointment of minor Chiefs in Akure North Local Government.

“The Presiding Judge, Justice W. Akintoroye in his judgment dated March 28, 2018 affirmed the power of the Deji as the prescribed and consenting authority for the appointment of minor chiefs in Akure North.

“It is expedient to state that on pages 41–42 of the Judgment, the Ondo State Government made its position known that notwithstanding the bifurcation of Akure into two Local Governments, the Deji of Akure land still retains consenting authority based on traditional and historical backgrounds.

“This is non–negotiable and hence Chief Boboye Ojo who was appointed and installed by the Deji of Akure kingdom is the recognized and acceptable “Olu of Eleyowo” by the State Government and that the issue should be regarded as resolved,” the Deji said in a statement signed at that time by his Chief Press Secretary, Michael Adeyeye, who stated also that the Deji had been the consenting authority on Iju and Itaogbolu traditional rulership before the recognition of their heads as Obas.

What the Deji’s palace, however, has not stated is whether it is saying the Akure monarch must continue to treat community heads, upon whom only the state government has consenting authority and has now upgraded to Obaship status, as his own chiefs, despite repeated warning by the state government that no Oba must step out of his own domain to appoint local chiefs on other Oba’s domain.

Called on Tuesday to react to the allegations against his principal over the issues, the Chief Press Secretary to the Deji of Akure, Michael Adeyeye, could not be reached as his phone was switched off. He was, however, sent a text which was yet to be responded to as of the time of filing this report.

When called for his reaction, neither did the Olu of Eleyowo-elect, Olomi Adesina Agunbiade, pick up his calls nor reply to our text message, which was understood to be his avoidance of talking over a matter that is still in court.

In his reaction, the Ogbolu of Ita-Ogbolu, Akure North Local Government, Oba Idowu Faborode, a newly promoted First Class Oba, said he could not react to rumour as all being said about Deji’s claims to the newly recognised kingdom of Eleyowo that falls within his own Akure North Local Government traditional institution “remains rumour to me”.

“What is clear to all of us and to the Chieftaincy law of Ondo State is that the State Government has recognised and approved an Oba for Eleyowo. It may be delayed but it will definitely come to be,” the Ogbolu told The DEFENDER in a telephone interview on Tuesday.

Another monarch in Akure North Local Government, Oba David Olajide, the Ireshi of Osi Kingdom, said he could not understand the reason Deji of Akure would be showing interest in territory that is now upgraded to another level and outside his own domain, according to the latest development that is backed by law of the state.

According to the monarch, even if eventually the Deji’s man becomes the Oba, it will remain magic many would wait for the Deji to perform, how an Olu of Eleyowo that should report to Iju-Itaogbolu, Akure North Local Government headquarters, will turn around to report to Akure in Akure South Local Government.

Generally, there are continued concerns across the local governments that were hitherto in the Old Akure Division in Ondo State, as meaningful people wonder why the Deji of Akure is fighting too much war over what to gain in terms of land benefits instead of him to work on making peace with other kingdoms within the old Division for the collective development of the Akure speaking kingdoms and people, as a way to justify his present position, one as Chairman, Ondo State Council of Obas, and as now a king who has traveled wider across North and South of Nigeria.

A source, who refused to be identified said, “What the Deji is claiming is ridiculous. Whatever he claims used to be of Akure Division of the old, which is now no longer so. How an enlightened king would believe, claim and fight to be the prescribing or consenting authority over that same Akure Division under the current reality remains a matter for the wise to determine.

“It is just like because Ondo State is named from the name of Ondo town, the Osemawe, our respected Kabiyesi, would now lay claims as consenting authority over the entire local governments, towns, and villages in the whole of Ondo State Ekiti State inclusive being under Old Ondo State. Kabiyesi, the Deji of Akure, and those who advise him should reason before it is too late. It will be too late when you do not allow the sitting Governor that is there now, who is interested in solving this problem and has solved it while still observing much respect for you, to bury the problem permanently. The Deji should appreciate the favours of God by accepting this peaceful resolution has been achieved by the Akeredolu Administration,” he said.


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