By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
Another twist was on Wednesday added to the selection proces of Olubadan of Ibadan as the Lagelu descendants; the Aboke family of Beere in Ibadan dragged the Oyo State Government, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in the state to court over their exclusion from the Ibadan traditional chieftaincy line, the Olubadan Chieftaincy stool.
The Lagelu descendants in the suit numbered I/348/2011 also joined the reigning Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji and the Olubadan- In Council in the suit.
Counsel to the Lagelu descendants, Barrister Jeleel Rufai at the mention of the suit before an Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan told the court that his client the “Aboke family are the descendants of Lagelu, the founder of Ibadanland and should be recognized as a distinct line along with the existing Otun and Balogun lines where Olubadan is appointed.
Barrister Rufai prayed the court to set aside the 1958 Ibadan Chieftaincy declaration which recognizes only the two lines, saying, after scaling through, “there is a need to amend the declaration to be in tandem with the current happenings”.
“I am the counsel to the claimants in this case, Lagelu/Aboke descendants family, they sued Oyo State Government, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs along with the current Olubadan of Ibadanland and the Olubadan-In-Council claiming that the way the appointment of Olubadan is being made is contrary to the age-long customary practise. They are contending that their family ought to be the main family to be producing the Olubadan or their family ought to be included among the lines which any Olubadan will be appointed or selected or appointed” he said.
Barrister Rufai added that the Lagelu descendants “are challenging the 1958 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration which recognizes only the Otun and Balogun lines as the two lines where Olubadan can be appointed ”adding that “there is a need for the amendment of the declaration to allow his clients be included as a major line where an Olubadan can be appointed”.
“That is the alternative, they are even saying that they ought to be the sole line, they are ready to concede because of the age-long number of time they have been excluded, make us part of it so that as we are having Otun line and the Balogun line, let there be Lagelu line too. We will now have 3 lines. Because the system of appointing Olubadan is different, the only decent in the whole of Yorubaland, it is the only novel and unique method of appointment of traditional rulers.
“If you look at other towns or cities, they have separate families and they have been making glory from it ascribing that to themselves that Ibadan is different, but if it is going to be different, it should not be to the detriment of the family of the founder, we all know that Lagelu is the founder of Ibadanland, there is no doubt about it”.
Emphasizing that the Lagelu/Aboke family “are not happy and comfortable with the current system of ascension to the Olubadan stool that compelled families to produce a Mogaji (Head of the family) who rises from there to become Olubadan after passing through 22 or 23 stages from either Otun or Balogun lines” Barrister Rufai said “If Lagelu is the founder of Ibadan, why are you now putting aside, why are you now dishonouring, why are you disregarding the descendants of Lagelu, don’t you think the history is to their side, even though they want to add some other people to them, they must always be there, that is our complain”.
Counsel to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants, Barrister Tayo Aderounmu, (a legal officer from the state Ministry of Justice) prayed the court to give her more time to prepare for the case and that all facts at her disposal would be ready before the adjourned date.
Justice Eni Esan after listening to both parties in the suit then adjourned the case till April 6, 2017.