Former governor of Oyo State and the Osi Olubadan of Ibadan, Chief Rashidi Ladoja, has read the riot act to 21 Ibadan chiefs; warning the 21 monarchs sacked by a high court to desist from parading themselves as kings or risk jail. In a statement signed on his behalf by former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General in Oyo state, Michael Lana, the former governor said it was contemptuous for the chiefs to continue to parade themselves as Obas.
“It is a notorious fact that by the gazette number 14, volume 42 of August 23, 2017; number 15, volume 42 of August 24, 2017; and number three, volume 43 of March 29, 2018, the past administration purportedly, albeit illegally, translated some Ibadan high chiefs into Obas and purportedly gave them authority to wear beaded crowns,” Ladoja stated.
“However, it is also a notorious fact that the said gazette, being the only instrument by which this aberration to Ibadan Chieftaincy Custom Laws was carried out, has, by the judgement of the Oyo State High Court on November 19, 2019, been set aside.
“For the avoidance of doubt, that judgement, inter alia, read that all gazettes affecting the chieftaincy laws of Ibadanland and the subsequent elevation of high chiefs and Baales in Ibadanland as Obas during the pendency of the suit are hereby set aside.”
The court added that the rights to wear beaded crowns and coronets granted by the state government during the pendency of the suit were revoked.
Ladoja said it was surprising to see some of the high chiefs acting as Obas and wearing beaded crowns and coronets. He added, “This is even more pronounced by the advertisement placed in the Nigerian Tribune of December 25, 2019, by the high chiefs.
“First, be it noted that this action constitutes contempt of court for which we shall not hesitate to institute proceedings. Second, the act constitutes a criminal offence under Section 28 (2) of the Chiefs Law Cap 28 Laws of Oyo State.”
The statement called on the Commissioner of Police, Sina Olukolu, to arrest any of the high chiefs parading as Oba henceforth. “Where an order under subsection (1) of this section is in force, any person who wears a beaded crown and is not a chief entitled under the order to wear it shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction be liable to a fine of N5,000 or imprisonment for one year,” it warned.