Adeleke was misled in appointment of new Olola of Ola, say kingmakers

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The approval of Prince Johnson Ajiboye as the new Olola of Ola, in Ejigbo Local Government of Osun State by Governor Ademola Adeleke, has elicited protests by the head of the town’s kingmakers, Dr. Femi Fasanya, who said he was not part of the process.

Fasanya said that the purported installation of the oba was contrary to an order of the Osun State High court which had restrained the government and all parties to a lawsuit brought by rival claimants to the throne from installing any candidate pending the determination of the case.

Tensions rose within the community after the state governor gave his accent to the appointment of Ajiboye at the State Executive Council meeting on January 3, 2024.

The appointee was said to have been installed surreptitiously by only a section of the kingmakers with Fasanya refusing to participate in the process citing the pendency of the lawsuit

The Olugbode section of Ejitunde Ruling House had challenged Ajiboye, the Osun State Government and others in suit No: HEJ/312020, after which a restraining order was issued against the parties last December.

Disowning the process, Fasanya as head kingmaker said: “I was not involved in the installation of this king appointed by the governor. I was not involved because of the court order. The court will determine the issue.”

However, the Osun State  Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Dosu Babatunde, who spoke through the Permanent Secretary, Olufemi Ogundun, said the government was not aware of any restraining order.

He said: “The Adeleke government is a law-abiding administration. It cannot be aware of the restraining order and go ahead to appoint the monarch. We are going to mediate among the parties involved, to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the community.”

One of the heads of the Olugbode section, who is the first plaintiff in the matter, Mr. Kolawole Sangoniran, blamed civil servants in the Ministry of Justice and Chieftaincy Affairs for misleading Governor Adeleke on the appointment, and said it amounted to a contempt of court.

Giving a background to the controversy, he explained: “After the demise of Oba J.A. Akinpelu in 2020, the next ruling house expected to present a candidate for the vacant stool was the Ejitunde Ruling House, which is comprised of (Ile Ejitunde and Ile Olugbode sections).

“Needless to say that Ile Ejitunde had ruled Ola twice, while Ile Olugbode is yet to take its rightful turn.

“This time around, we called a meeting and they started avoiding us which led us to approach the court for adjudication. Suffice to say that the case has since been in court since 2021 and there are two injunctions barring any assumption of a new Olola until the case is determined. To our surprise, Ile Ejitunde was given the certificate to ascend the throne which they did one night around 8.30 or 9pm.

“Suffice to say that the nocturnal installation took place around 9pm without the head of the kingmakers (Dr. Femi Fasanya) in attendance because he knew that their action is illegal. Suffice to say that the two other kingmakers performed the so-called installation without the head of the kingmakers who abstained. It is also important to mention that the other two kingmakers were served letters by our lawyer that the case is in court and there is an interim injunction stopping any installation.”