DEJI‘S APPOINTMENT OF HIGH CHIEF ADEYEYE HENRY GBENGA AS THE NEW IRALEPO OF ISIKAN – SETTING THE RECORDS STRAIGHT
The attention of the Palace of the Deji and Paramount Ruler of Akure Kingdom have been drawn to some needless debates and misinformation trailing the appointment of High Chief Adeyeye Henry Gbenga as the Iralepo of Isikan, Akure by Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi, Odundun II.
2. It is either the group which refereed to themselves as “Omowa Isikan” and other few writers who wants to stand logic on its head are either ignorant of the law and the situation of things or rather chose to be myopic in their opinion to twist facts with regards to the power(s) of the Deji to appoint Minor Chiefs in Akure Land.
3. It is laughable and disheartening that some learned individuals had continued to give the unambiguous judgment of the Supreme their own perceived other than the original meaning and the decision of the court. They have continued to give series of interpretation to give credence to their sinister move, thus, turning them to a mere comedian whose acts can only be counterproductive.
4. We would have ignored these rabble-rousers and allow them to continue to wallow in their ignorance but for the sake of the unsuspecting public, it is expedient to set the record state.
5. It is on record that the duo were Quarter Chiefs in Akure who chose to approach the High Court of Ondo State to declare them as recognized Chiefs. The State Government acting on the Judgment of the lower court immediately issued a letter of recognition to the duo. The Deji and the Akure community knew that the trial Judge erred in law decided to appeal the Judgment. The Appeal Court in its Judgment CA/B/129/2005 dismissed the verdict of Ondo State High Court in the consolidated suit AK/371/96 and AK/372/96 which was jointly instituted by the Iralepo of Isikan and Osolo of Isolo, Akure and reversed their recognition thereby reverting to their original status of a Quarter Chiefs.
6. The duo were apparently dissatisfied with the Judgment decided to approach the apex court of the land in the suit SC. 276/2012. The Supreme Court in its wisdom dismissed their appeal of Iralepo of Isikan and Osolo of Isolo, Akure considering it as lacking in merit and thereafter awarded a cost of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira to be paid to the Deji and the Akure Community by both the Iralepo of Isikan and Osolo of Isolo.
7. The Supreme Court judgment actually laid to rest the tortuous legal battle thereby making the appointment of the Iralepo of Isikan and Osolo of Isolo, Akure a prerogative of the Deji of Akure Kingdom and affirming the position of the Appeal Court. It is important to reemphasize that the Deji of Akure in exercising his powers appointed the current Osolo of Isolo, High Chief Edward Adejoyegbe Adewole thereby nullifying the earlier selection of one Mr. Amos Idowu purportedly nominated by a pseudo kingmakers of Isolo. It is of interest to know that High Chief Edward Adewole had since remained the Osolo of Isolo without any bickering or grudges and duly recognized by the Deji, Akure Council of Chiefs and the Akure South Local Government. What could now be different in the appointment of Iralepo of Isikan who is bounded by the same Supreme Court judgment alongside the Osolo of Isolo.
8. It is important to state for clarity sake that the Deji of Akure Kingdom decided to readmit the late Iralepo of Isikan, High Chief Olu Ojo as a member of the Deji in council and equally reinstated him from the suspension placed on him to enable him perform his role as a Quarter Chief of Isikan after his passionate appeal via a letter personally signed by him and addressed to the Deji of Akure Kingdom.
9. Late High Chief Olu Ojo in his letter titled “PASSIONATE PLEAD TO LIFT THE SUSPENSION PLACED ON THE CHIEFTAINCY OF IRALEPO OF ISIKAN” admitted being a Quarter Chief and pleaded with the Deji being the appointing authority to lift the suspension placed on him by the Late Oba Adebiyi Adegboye Adesida, Afunbiowo II to allow him perform as the Iralepo of Isikan, Akure and His Majesty graciously granted his request.
10. The purported Omowa of Isikan and the purported Iralepo elect failed to tell the whole world that the late Iralepo performed his functions as a Quarter Chief and promptly attended the Deji in Council meetings until his demise. Interestingly, Mr. Gbenga Ojo (the purpoted Iralepo elect) usually accompanied his father to the Deji in Council meeting. Though, he is not allowed to witness the proceedings as non-members are not allowed not even as an observer. High Chief Olu Ojo died and was buried as a Quarter Chief. He lived peacefully with the Deji and was very cooperative and loyal. We wondered what could be the motive of those who called themselves Kingmakers making frantic efforts to change the narratives and trying to confuse the public on the status of the Iralepo.
11. The fact that the Ministry of Local Government was misled by the desperate purported “Omowa of Isikan” into erring on the part of the law does not legalize the illegal selection allegedly carried out. There is no gainsaying that such selection does not have a place in law and it is therefore ultra vires null and void and of no effect.
12. We wondered why some commentators could chose to openly exhibit their extreme ignorance of the law despite claiming to be learned when it rely on page 35 of the Appeal Court Judgment by taking it in isolation. It is unthinkable that the commentator will fail to read the position of the Judges on Page 39 of the said Judgment which affirmed that Isolo and Isikan Chieftaincy cannot be granted the status of an Oba without the sanction of the Deji of Akure.
13. However, it is expedient to ask the following pertinent questions to clear the doubt of those who are confused on the status of the Iralepo of Isikan.
a. Did Akure South Local Government ever accorded the Iralepo of Isikan the right of a recognized Chief after the appeal court judgment?
b. Did the Iralepo of Isikan ever attended any council of Obas meeting either at the Local Government or State level after the Appeal Court Judgment?
c. Is Iralepo of Isikan a member of the Ondo state Council of Obas?
d. has the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy ever recognized Iralepo of Isikan as a recognized Chief after the Appeal Court Judgment?
e. Are the purported “kingmakers” and “Omowas” aware of the fact that the Iralepo of Isikan attended the Deji in Council meetings as a member and as a Quarter Chiefs and not a recognized Chief?
f. Can the purported “Kingmakers” provide the gazette that recognized them as Kingmakers in Ondo State?
g. Are the purported Kingmakers aware that their action is a contempt of the court or they just chose to claim ignorance of the law?
h. At what point did High Chief Iralepo of Isikan transposed itself to a recognized Chief?
i. What is the desperation of these purported kingmakers in twisting facts and creating apprehension where there is none?
14. There is no doubt that the action(s) of the purported Kingmakers and Omowas can only have its place in the Nollywood movies and not in a sane society governed by law.
14. We urge Mr. Gbenga Ojo to come out of his hiding rather than claimimg to be in seclusion and continue his normal business activities rather than claiming to be in a seclusion which can only exist within the figment of his imagination as an Iralepo in person of High Chief Adeyeye Gbenga Henry has been duly installed. As a young promising Isikan and Akure man, he should realize that there is always a better assured days ahead and should avoid been pushed into being on the wrong side of the law as the law is no respecter of person(s).
15. Notwithstanding, it is important to say without any iota of contradictions that the Deji is not at logger head with anyone in the selection of an Iralepo as he had only exercised the right traditionally and legally conferred on him as the appointing and consenting authority for Minor Chiefs in all Areas that traditionally, historically and customarily belongs to him not even minding the bifurcation of the old Akure Local Government.
16. We wish to appreciate the well-meaning sons and daughters of Isikan for standing firm and avoided being pushed into a needless crisis that could have emanated from the illegal action of some individuals in Isikan Community.
17. The Deji wishes to reaffirm his commitment that we will never be at dagger with each other or allow any form of suspicion that could keep us distant from each other. As the custodian of traditions, the Deji will continue to unite every Quarters and towns in Akure Speaking Communities while addressing issues that may crop up along the line. We are aware of the frantic efforts of those attempting to sow the seed of discord among us to profit therefrom, it is however clear that we will surely surmount any myriads of challenges and we will mend every broken fences and dust up old alliances for a peaceful, united and prosperous Akure Kingdom.
Chief Press Secretary to the Deji of Akure Kingdom and the Chairman, Ondo State Council of Obas.