By Akeem Abas &Suleiman Shehu
Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State said his government will appeal the judgment which sacked the 21 Ibadan high chiefs that he installed as monarchs.
Justice Olajumoke Aiki of Oyo State High Court on Friday declared the retired Justice Akintunde Boade’s Commission of Inquiry which reviewed the 1957 Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration and other Chieftaincies as unconstitutional and illegal.
The state government had on Aug. 27, 2017 elevated some Ibadan High Chiefs, except one and some district heads (Baales) as obas, pitting the chief against Oba Saliu Adetunji, the Olubadan.
The Osi Olubadan and former governor of the state, Chief Rasheed Ladoja, challenged the propriety of the Justice Boade Commission of Inquiry.
Reacting to the judgment of the court on Friday in Ibadan, Gov. Abiola Ajimobi said that the state will appeal the verdict.
The governor spoke at the inauguration of a block of classrooms donated by Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN) to Community Secondary School, Ajara in Ibadan.
Olujimi was a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation and an indigene of Ajara community in Ibadan.
“Today’s judgment on the Olubadan Chieftaincy review will be appealed immediately. We have embarked upon the exercise, not for joke, but for the good of Ibadan and the people.
“We will not relent in making Ibadan great and the greatness shall come from various ways, one of which is the review exercise.
“You should not expect people to accept change and radical policy for that matter, but we shall get there.
“ We will not allow the forces of retrogression to overtake the progress Oyo State is making,’’ Ajimobi said.
Ajimobi had on May 19, 2017, set up the commission headed by retired Justice Akintunde Boade to review the 1957 chieftaincy declaration and other related chieftaincies in Ibadan.
The commission submitted its report to the governor on Aug. 18, 2017 recommending 32 beaded-crown kings in Ibadan while the Olubadan would remain as paramount ruler of Ibadanland.
But former governor of the state and Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, Sen. Rashidi Ladoja, dragged Ajimobi and Boade to court, claiming that the composition of the committee would affect his ambition of becoming the Olubadan.
Justice Olajumoke Aiki, said Sections 10,12 and 25 of the Oyo State Chiefs Law do not empower the governor to set up the committee.
Aiki also said that the governor cannot delegate power on what he does not possess.
“ Wearing of beaded crown is outside Sections 10, 12 and 25 of the Oyo State Chiefs Law.
“ The procedures of part 2 and 3 of the Oyo State Chiefs Law under Sections 10,12 and 25 do not empower the governor to set up any commission of inquiry to review the 1957 Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration.
“ All powers, be it legislative or judicial, must be traced to the validity of the constitution.
“ The governor of Oyo State exercised his power outside the power conferred on him by the chiefs law and I declare the exercise as unconstitutional and illegal,’’ the judge said.
Aiki restrained the governor from accepting and implementing the report of the committee, thus technically and legally sacking the 21 kings already installed.