Traditional rulers in Akure North Local Government Area have rejected the recent Judgement of an Ondo State High Court that affirmed that the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi has a consenting and prescribed authority to install minor chiefs and Olojas in both Akure South and Akure North local government areas of the state.
The monarchs under the umbrella of Akure North Local Government Chieftaincy Committee, described the verdict as strange and contradicted the 1984 Chiefs Law of Ondo State as amended in 1991 and the Land Use Act which limited the prescribed authority of any traditional ruler to only communities in his local government area, saying the verdict would be challenged at the Appeal Court by the parties involved.
In a statement signed on behalf of the Obas, Olus and Olojas in Akure North Local Government area, the Ogbolu of Ita-Ogbolu, Oba Idowu Faborode who is also their Chairman and the Oloba of Oba-Ile, Oba Joseph Oluwadare, insisted that Deji lacked powers to remove the Asinigbo of Isinigbo, Oba Samuel Elewuju because the action violated existing Chieftaincy and LG Edicts in the state.
Justice W.A Akintoroye of the state High Court had last week ruled in favour of the Deji asserting his power as the consenting and prescribed authority for the installation of minor chiefs and Olojas in the domains which are traditionally and constitutionally associated with the Deji's stool notwithstanding the bifurcation of Akure Local Government.
Oba Aladetoyinbo, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Adeyeye Michael, pointed out that the judgment would further bring about unity and peaceful coexistence among all traditional rulers in the two Council areas.
But, lawyer to the Akure North monarchs that filed the suit, Mr Femi Emodamori said the Judgement would be challenge at the Appeal Court, noting that the ruling was strange to the State Chiefs Law.
Also reacting to the Judgement, the Akure North Monarchs called on the state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and his Deputy, Agboola Ajayi to use their legal knowledge to call Oba Aladetoyinbo to order over his provocative handling of Chieftaincy matters between his domain and Akure North area which could lead to destabilise the existing peace in the state Capital if not carefully and lawfully handled.
They also urged Akeredolu to make good his promise of releasing the Government's White Paper on Justice Ajama Chieftaincy Commission to resolve myriad of Obaship tussles in Akure in particular and the state in general.
"After-all the Deji would never dream
of going to any of the communities now in Ifedore LGA of the State to make any purported appointment or removal of Chiefs just because those communities used to be part of the Old Akure District. Can His Majesty, the Ooni of Ife come to Ondo State and appoint, install or remove the Deji of Akure simply because Akure is part of Yorubaland? Let every king know his domain", the Monarchs opined.
"The term 'consenting authority' has been abolished under our chieftaincy laws as far back as 1981 in the Ondo State Government White Paper on Morgan Chieftaincy Review Commission, in paragraph 10 of the white Paper. To say the least therefore, the judgment of the court in this regard is completely strange. We are however aware that those involved in the matter are already appealing the judgment".
"As for the purported claim of the Deji of Akure that he had suspended and removed the Asinigbo of Isinigbo, we hereby assure the people and Government of Ondo State and Nigerians in general that the Asinigbo of Isinigbo remains the Traditional Head of Isinigbo Community and a member of the Akure North Local Government Council of Obas and Olus. He is still drawing his entitlements from the Akure North Local Government like all other Obas and Olus. Whoever asserts otherwise must be under illusion."