— As They Allegedly Absconded For The Third Time
There was a mild drama in Iree, Boripe North Local Council Development Authority (LCDA) on Wednesday, as the King Makers led by Chief Saliu Atoyebi , the Aaogun of Iree absconded the selection process for the third time.
Boripe North LCDA Head of Local Government Administration, Mr Kola Anjorin had issued a notice of selection of new Aree on Wednesday 2, 2022 to the King Makers, the notice was also pasted at the Palace, Town Hall, and the Secretariat of Traditional Chief.
Today made it third time that the king makers will refused the selection process.
On Friday 28th of October, CityMirrorNews gathered, the king makers have concluded to select the king but absconded before the arrival of council officials who were to supervised the process.
The same scenario occurred previous Friday, October 21, 2022 when the king makers said they will not accept the Warrant Chief appointed by state government.
According to Iree Chieftaincy declaration, there are Six King Makers, one of them who is the second in command to the King, Eesa Chief Salami, is late and the state government has appointed Chief Sehrifat Adebayo, Iyalode of Iree land to replace the late king maker for the selection process.
Previous Acrimony and The State Government Involvement
The Late Aree of Iree, Oba Jimon Oloyonu died on July 8, 2018 and the stool has remained vacant in the last 4 years as a result of ligation from the ruling houses over the rightful ruling house to produce the 16th Aare of Iree land.
The case lasted for 4 years before the judgment of an Ikirun High Court presided over by Justice Jide Falola that ordered the continuation of the process and selection of King from 4 ruling house out of six ruling house.
This court judgment recently allowed the government to continue the process that was stopped 4 years ago and the local government wrote the ruling houses that are illegible for the stool.
According to the available information, 4 candidates have collected the nomination forms and passed through the necessary screening and only awaiting the selection of the King.
However, 3 weeks ago, the King Makers made a U-turn when warrant chief was announced, they absconded from the selection process and after two weeks, they approached the Court asking the court for interlocutory injunction to stop the selection process and declare the warrant chief appointed illegal. The case was heard on Tuesday and adjourned till November 9, 2022 for hearing.
Also, the King Makers on Wednesday, November 2, 2022 wrote the Chairman Boripe North LCDA, Mr Kehinde Bamigbegbin with the letter head of Aare in Council asking the council to replace the warrant chief claiming that the government does not have right to appoint the warrant chief.
According to the letter sighted by our correspondent signed by the Secretary, Aare in Council, (name withheld) the king makers claimed to have nominated Chief Kayode Abiola, the Odoka Oke Esa to replace the late Eesa. Findings shows that the same Chief Kayode Abiola who is the secretary that signed the letter is the nominee, perhaps he deliberately chose not to indicate his name because he signed the letter and he is the nominee which could be concluded that he nominated himself.
King Makers and Traditional Chief Suspension
Three weeks ago, when it was obvious that subsisting court cases have been resolved and no ruling house appealed the judgment, government appeared ready for the selection. The officials of the local government met with the King Makers and fixed Friday 21 for the selection of the King.
The king makers agreed but they made a U turn when the warrant chief was selected, they agreed to reconvene on Friday 28, 2022 by 11 am but the Aogun of Iree Land, Chief Saliu Atoyebi by 9 am that morning convened a meeting of Chiefs suspended Iyalode of Iree, Chief Mrs Sherifat Adebayo that the government appointed as warrant chief and Obale, Chief Saka Adeniyi indefinitely and announced that he has given all the chiefs one month holiday.
The implication is that no chief should play any role in respect of the King selection till the expiration of tenure of the current administration in the state. This is considered as a tactical way of evading the process till new government will come in November 27. According to the prominent leaders in Iree who pleaded anonymity, all efforts to persuade Aogun to allow the process to take place were proved abortive and in the last 48 hours and as at the time of filling this report, his phone number remained switched off.
One of the High Chief in the town who pleaded anonymity accused Chief Aoogun who is the 4th in hierarchy of abusing the privilege saying ‘’ it seems he is enjoying the vacant throne because since the death of Eesa, he has been in acting capacity and performing the role of a king including appointing palace chiefs, conferring chieftaincy title and suspending place chief, a power that can only be exercise by a King, if not that what could have responsible for the deliberate absconding for the statutory duties.
The Role of the Local Government
Chairman of the Boripe North LCDA, Mr Kehinde Bamigbegbin said the local government is under obligation by law to ensure seamless process of king selection and since there are no legal limitation any longer they initiated the process by writing appropriate quarters especially the king makers to allow them to perform their duty of electing a King.
Bamigbegbin, speaking with press men today , at the palace of Aare while waiting for the King Makers along other council officials said Wednesday will make it the third time that the king makers will evade the selection process. He said for almost two weeks they have been coming to the palace and the secretariat of the chiefs to conduct the process adding that the council will write its report and forward it to the state government for the next line of action.
Who Can Appoint a Warrant Chief?
According to Osun state Chiefs Law, it is only the state government through the recommendation of Local Government that has the power to appoint warrant chief. Section 15 (I) (e) of the Osun State Chiefs Law does not even contemplated any consultation. It mandate the government fill to fill any vacant throne within 7 days by writing the King makers or any other authority eligible to elect a king in accordance with Chiefs Law.
If a king maker is not available by death, the government is under obligation to appoint any reputable individual as a warrant chief just for the purpose of the selecting a king within 7 days stipulated by the law, that section of the law does not permit the king makers to appoint or reject a king maker. The law gave the prerogative power to appoint warrant chief where necessary to the government.
The Position of Ruling Houses
The six ruling houses in Iree are also concern with the delayed of the process by the King makers and urged them to perform their duties as expected. Prince Depo Bangbade from Ajisegiri Ruling House in Iree while speaking to press men on Wednesday at the palace after the king makers evaded the process said it is regrettable that the king makers are behaving in that manner.
He said ‘’it took us almost 4 years to resolve the legal tussle in respect of this throne and now all is set to have a king and they are now frustrating it, no one is saying they should not have their preferred choice but why are they absconding to conclude the process. Now they have went to court which is a clear signal that they want to halt the process and if care is not taking, for the next 20 years, we may not have a king in Iree, they are on a mission to frustrate the process.
He urged the government to follow the necessary process but ensure that the King is selected from the eligible ruling house, particularly Ajisegiri saying the town is in desperate need of Oba. ‘’ We need an Oba that will provide leadership; the king makers have screened all of them they are all qualified, Iree cannot remain stagnant over the selection of Oba.
The Way Out
In an interview with a legal practitioner who specializes in Chieftaincy law, Mr Wasiu Adeleye said it is only a valid court that can stop the process since it appeared that the Kings maker have abandoned their duties, except they are ready to make themselves available for that exercise. According to him, it is a matter of law and the local government has substantially complied with section 15 and 16 of Osun Chiefs Law.
He said ‘’ in this circumstance, by law, the process cannot be stopped because of negligence of any party, it is a process that have time frame, they have commenced the process and by now they are already violating the law which only allows 7 days, it is only a valid court process that can stop the process. If the situations continue, the government has power to appoint warrant chiefs, it is just a matter of invoking section 17 of Osun Chiefs Law.
According to section 17 (1) (A&B) ‘’ Where a Secretary of the complainant council or the Kings Makers fails to discharge any function conferred upon them by Section 15 within the time required, or ; in the case of the recorgnised chieftaincy other than a ruling house chieftaincy, any person entitled to nominate, select or appoint to vacancy failed to exercise their powers, within such time as appeared reasonable to the government , the government may appoint such person to exercise and perform those powers and duties as he may think fit in place of Secretary, Kings Maker or other person in default.’’
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