Olubadan : You Have no Right to Cancel Seriki Line – Oyediji tells Ajimobi

L-R: Ekerin Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Abiodun Kola-Daisi; Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; and his wife, Florence, during the presentation of staff of office and certificates to the high chiefs and baales who were promoted as obas by the governor, at Mapo Hall, Ibadan... on Sunday. Photo: Governor's Office
Chief Adebayo Oyediji, Head of the Seriki Family in Ibadan, who is contending the Obaship position with the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso 1, has alleged political intimidation from the government of Senator Abiola Ajimobi, saying that the Governor can never cancel the existence of Seriki Line in the Olubadan Chieftaincy.
The 91-year old business man said this yesterday in Ibadan while lambasting the non-mentioning of the Seriki Line in the recently reviewed Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration, which installation of 21 new Obas has pitched the Olubadan against the Governor, resulting in series of litigation in courts.
Chief Oyediji and other Seriki Chiefs who have been fighting to retain their position in the Obaship of Ibadan for almost 40 years, picked hole in the gazette signed by Governor Ajimobi after the Justice Boade Akintunde-led review panel submitted its recommendations. The gazette was silent on the existence of Seriki Line, as it recognised only High Chiefs from the Otun and Balogun Lines as being entitled to ascend to the throne of Olubadan.
Relying on the November 2008 ruling of Justice M. O. Ishola which granted an interlocutory injunction “restraining the Oyo State Governor, Attorney General and the then Olubadan from selecting, appointing, or promoting any person into any vacancy existing or may later exist in the Ekerin Olubadan, Ashipa Olubadan, Osi Olubadan, Otun Olubadan and Olubadan chieftaincies pending the hearing and determination of the originating summons filed by the claimants in Suit No I/421/07, the nonagenarian said that successive governors had continued to violate the court order to the detriment of the
Seriki Family.
The injunction granted had followed the 1989 Consent Judgment delivered by the Supreme Court which had recommended that the Seriki Line be incorporated in the Olubadan Chieftaincy Lines.
Oyediji who is the oldest existing chief from Seriki Line however said that “for over 11 years, and almost 60 times of adjournments we have had in our cases, none of our matters has been determined. Our leaders of today believe that they are above the law. They continue to commit illegality upon illegality by elevating the High Chiefs and even installing Adetunji as Olubadan. Both Ajimobi and Adetunji are now at loggerheads. Nemesis is catching up on their conspiracy against the Seriki Family. One injustice is now describing another injustice as injustice”, Chief Oyediji said.
He stressed that Seriki title had been in existence in Ibadan before 1946 when the Otun Line came into existence, adding that “Seriki had produced Olubadan among them Okunola Abass. Before 1946, the Otun were ‘Abobaku’ (those made to die with any dead Ibadan Oba). After some political intrigues, Oyetunde became the first king from Otun Line. So, for anybody to say that Seriki Line does not exist is blasphemous. God is going to judge them.
“After the consent judgment delivered by the Supreme Court in 1989, we were begged by the Olubadan-in-Council to start entering the Olubadan Line through Otun and Balogun Lines. We agreed, but since then, they have been denying us the chance through political manipulations. We have five different cases pending in different courts. Court is going to vindicate us, I strongly believe. If I am no more, many other Seriki High Chiefs are there to continue the struggle until justice is done”. The Seriki Head said.
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