A Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta, Ogun State, has sentenced the Osolo of Ado-Odo, Muftau Dosunmu, to six months in prison for presenting himself as an Oba.
The Osolo title, which is one of the high chiefs in Ado-Odo, Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, was upgraded to a coronet Oba by the past administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun, among 74 others across the state.
But, the Governor Dapo Abiodun administration has since its assumption of office reversed the upgrade of all 75 Obas.
Though the monarchs claimed they had secured a high court judgement against the state, the government had insisted that they should stop parading themselves as traditional rulers.
In his case, the Osolo was dragged to court for alleged impersonation and disturbance of peace within the Ado-Odo magisterial district.
He was accused of parading himself as an Oba, donning regalia and a beaded crown, despite lacking the rightful title, thereby violating Section 23(2)(c) of the Obas and Chiefs Law of Ogun State.
Dosunmu was said to have installed one Alabi Afizu as Babaloja of Ado-Odo in March 2022, contravening Section 249(1)(d) of the Criminal Code Law.
Dosunmu was additionally charged for instructing a town crier to announce movement restrictions due to spiritual rites between April 2022 and August 2022, leading to charges under Section 249(1)(d) and 200 of the Criminal Code Law.
Another count stated that Dosunmu identified himself as the Olofin of Ado-Odo and paraded himself as the Osolo of Ado-Odo, a kingmaker, between April 2022 and July 2023.
The prosecution counsel, Adebayo Adesanya, had informed the court that his actions were punishable offences under Section 249(1)(d) and punishable under Section 249(3) of the Criminal Code Law.
Asked to state what he felt could be responsible for the crisis, the Osolo said it was as a result of who becomes the next Oba of Ado-Odo.
He explained, “They think I am the one disturbing the installation of the next Olofin of Ado-Odo because I am the Chairman of the Kingmakers; which is not true. I am not disturbing the installation of anybody as the Olofin.”
However, he kicked against the interference of external forces in the selection of the new first-class monarch, saying “I don’t how the Ministry (of Chieftaincy Affairs) or the Yewa Traditional Council will be installing unqualified persons as kingmakers. This is the time the whole of Nigeria will hear about this matter.”
It could be recalled that the late Olofin of Ado-Odo, Adeniran was in April 2013 attacked by some angry youths of the town.
The royal father was in his SUV when he was flagged down by some angry youths. He was beaten and stripped naked by the people, who were said to have earlier invaded his palace to vandalise cars and torch his house.
It was gathered that the youths at the time were protesting a Supreme Court judgment of January 12, 2009, which validated Adeniran’s appointment as the Oba of Ado-Odo.
Since 2013, the deceased Osolo has been in exile in Abeokuta. He returned to Ado-Odo in December 2020.
Dosunmu was also charged for parading himself as a kingmaker without the traditional council’s approval, a violation of Section 41 of the Chief’s Law of Ogun State, 2021, punishable under Section 41(6) of the Obas and Chiefs Law.
In her ruling, Chief Magistrate E. O. Idowu declared that Dosunmu was found guilty of six counts and sentenced him to six months imprisonment.
“The convict is sentenced to one-month imprisonment on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th counts of the charge, with an option of a fine of N50,000 on each count for which he has been convicted. The sentences shall run consecutively from today, 28th November 2023,” the court ruled.