Adeleke dragged to court over illegal appointment of Aree of Iree

TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke has been dragged before an Ikirun High Court for allegedly disregarding constitution in the appointment of the new Aree of Iree, Prince Mukaila Oyelakin.

One of the contestants to the Aree throne from Olubonku Ruling House in Iree town, Prince Ali Afolabi, filed the suit and accused Governor Adeleke of flouting the rule of law and jettisoning due process in the fresh selection.

He, therefore, asked the court to nullify the entire selection process, saying it was “a rape of the Constitution and complete fraud.”

Also joined in the suit are the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in the state and Prince Oyelakin.

In the suit, a copy of which was obtained by NEWS BOOM NIGERIA on Wednesday, the plaintiff (Ali) prayed the court for ” a declaration that by Native law and Custom of Iree Kingdom And Aree Chieftaincy, a person can only be validly selected to Aree Chieftaincy by an election/selection by the Kingmakers in Iree Kingdom and no one else.

“A declaration that the appointment of the 5th defendant (Oyelakin) as the Aree of Iree and consequent recognition by the 15th defendant (Adeleke) as recommended by 2nd and 4th (Iree Local Government Council) defendants as the Aree of Iree is unconscionable, inequitable, null and Void.

“An order setting aside the selection/election process that produced the 5 defendant as the Aree of Iree being for being conducted or participated in by non Kingmakers in line with the native law and custom of Iree.

“Declaration that Olubonku ruling house is the only Chieftaincy ruling house Competent to present candidate for the Aree Chieftaincy being the only ruling house that has yet to rule since 1866 when Atanda Olubonku ruling house ruled between 1795 to 1866.

“An order of injunction restraining the 1st to 4th defendants by themselves or proxies or by whatsoever/whatever name he/she or they are known from accepting the candidature of the 5th defendant or any candidate from any ruling house(s) of Aree Kingdom than the plaintiff ruling house.

“An order of injunction restraining the 5th defendant accepting or parading himself as the elected Aree of Iree King.”

Recall that the stool of Aree was vacant after Governor Adeleke sacked a traditional ruler appointed in Iree by his predecessor, Gboyega Oyetola, and accused the former governor of flouting due process and rushing to install monarchs after losing the 2022 governorship election in the state.

However, after about 14 months, Governor Adeleke issued a White Paper and ordered a fresh selection with a condition that the kingmakers and other aggrieved parties who had earlier dragged the state government to court over the appointment of one Ademola Ponle should withdraw their matters in court before the fresh selection process.

But, while the pending matter was yet to be withdrawn as directed owing to the strike embarked upon by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, Osun State branch, the state government proceeded with the fresh selection in contravention of the White Paper.

After the controversial fresh selection process on February 22, 2022, the kingmakers, it was gathered, proceeded to an Osun State High Court sitting in Ikirun on Monday, March 11, with an application of withdrawal of the pending matter sequel to the decision of JUSUN to call-off its over three months strike.

Also, Afolabi argued that Governor Adeleke contravened Section 20, sub section (2) of the Chief’s Law (cap.25) Laws of Osun State, 2002 by approving the selection of Oyelakin before the statutory 21 days.

“The law says that after selection of a monarch might has been done, the governor shall not approve or set aside that selection until after 21 days. Recall that the selection of Oyelakin was made on February 22, 2024 while Governor Ademola approved it by issuing an approval letter to Oyelakin on March 6, 2024.

“This action by the governor makes the letter of approval illegal and a violation of the same law that Governor Adeleke swore to obey,” Ali stated.

He added, “If Governor Adeleke accused former Governor Oyetola of not following the rule of law and breaching process, the governor has done worse by jettisoning the law including the White Paper he issued. This is grass injustice on the good people of Iree and it should not be allowed to stand.”

“To ensure that this injustice and breach of constitution do not stand, I have, through my lawyer, challenged the fresh selection in court.

Prince Ali Afolabi
Prince Ali Afolabi

“We have filed a case against the Governor, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Prince Oyelakin, asking the court to declare the fresh selection as illegal and nullify it.”

He maintained that the Boripe North Local Government failed in its statutory duty to appoint warrant chiefs to replace the vacant kingmakers’ position, saying that out of the four kingmakers alive, two voted while the other two voted in proxy, a situation that contravenes due process and rendered the entire process illegal and unacceptable.

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