Drama as self-imposed Monarchs fail to introduce themselves as traditional rulers before Ondo court
Following the arraignment of one Mr. Ademola Idowu Oloworibiyi who recently installed himself as Olofun of Ode-Irele, some natives of Ondo State have commended the directive of the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for the arraignment of the suspect, who has been parading himself as the monarch of Ode-Irele – the decision which was strongly condemned by the traditional council in the state.
It was allegedly reported that Mr. Ademola Oloworibiyi imposed and announced himself as Olofun of Ode-Irele.
The act was again replicated by one Mr. Adeyemi Akinde who also installed himself as Olu of Igodan Lisa.
These illegal and unlawful acts arose the anger of the Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and ordered for the arrest and arraignment of the duo by the Attorney-General of the state, Charles Titiloye before an Akure Magistrate Court.
Following the order of the Governor, the Commissioner of Police, Ondo State Command has consequently ordered the arrest of the suspected impersonators in Court for the commencement of criminal trial.
The Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Akure, Ondo State recently issued warrants of arrest and directed the Commissioner of Police to produce in Court two suspects who have been parading themselves as Oba in Irele and Igodan Lisa in the southern part of Ondo state.
According to Leo Ologun Esq.,
Director of Public Prosecution,
Ondo state Ministry of Justice said “Ondo State Government has commenced the trial of two suspects impersonating Oba of Irele and Igodan Lisa before the Chief Magistrate Court, Akure.
Ademola Idowu Oloworibiyi was arraigned in two counts of conspiracy under section 516 of the criminal code and unlawful installation as Olofun of Irele and so parading himself by wearing royal regalia without the approval of Ondo State Executive Council contrary to and punishable under section 15(1) of the Chiefs law of Ondo state.
He pleaded not guilty and was granted bail by the Magistrate Court.
Similarly, Adeyemi Akinde was also arraigned in separate two counts of conspiracy contrary to and punishable under section 516 of the criminal code and unlawful installation as Oba, wearing royal regalia of Olu of Igodan Lisa contrary to and punishable under Section 15(1) of the Chiefs law of Ondo state. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail by the trial Court.
While speaking in court, the duo neither introduced themselves as Oba nor putting on crown or cap in court room.
In the third criminal Trial before the Court, High Chief Ebieliemi Akintola, High Chief Orukan Fadayomi, Igbekele Olajide, High Chief Oloruntusi Mesegan, High Chief Adebayo Olowoboye and High Chief Akinyesi Owoloye were arraigned for conspiring to commit a felony to wit: unlawful installation of Idowu Oloworiyibi as Olofun of Irele and installation of Oba for Irele without the approval of Ondo State Executive Council contrary to and punishable under section 15 (2) of the Chiefs law of Ondo state.
They all pleaded not guilty and elected summary trial before the Magistrate Court. The Prosecuting team led by the Attorney General did not oppose their bail and they were granted bail by the trial Court.
The Attorney General of Ondo state and Commissioner for Justice, Charles Titiloye, informed the Court that the Chieftaincy dispute in respect of Irele is still pending before the Court of Appeal before Ademola Oloworiyibi and others conspired together without the approval of the state Executive Council to install him as the Oba of Irele.
He urged the Court to bind over the Defendant and the Chiefs to maintain peace and not take law into their hands pending the determination of the criminal trial.
The trial Court in his ruling directed the Defendants to keep the peace in their communities and refrain from any act that can lead to breakdown of law order in the state.
He noted that the Court will seriously view and sanction any step taken that can undermine the peace of Irele and the entire state.
The Magistrate Court thereafter adjourned the cases to 19th and 26th of October, 2022 for further hearing.
In different reactions, stakeholders from the two communities have applauded the efforts of the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, in maintaining law and order in the two communities.
They however expressed fear that Ondo State may turn to anarchy where anybody can just wake up and announce himself as Oba if the Governor doesn’t curb the situation and make the perpetrators to face the wrath of law as a matter of urgency.
Mr. Bodunrin Oloworoyeje, one of the stakeholders who spoke with newsmen berated any individual or group of people or political leaders supporting such unlawful and unconstitutional act of self-imposed and installed Oba, to refrain from it.
“The stakeholders in Irele community were highly embarrassed when the perpetrators came back from court recently and started jubilating that they had won the case, whereas, the court only granted their bails after they had pleaded not guilty of the offence”.
He however warned the perpetrators to stop deceiving the general public and urged the government to curb the situation once and for all.
He further noted that it would become a reference point if the government allowed anyone who has paraded himself as an Oba without the approval of the state governments to eventually become an Oba, stressing that it would further encourage individual from other communities to do same which may eventually becomes the usual approach of acceding the thrown of Obaship in the state which may not be good for the system.
He agitated that government should disqualify anyone and also replace those Chiefs or Kingmakers who had taken law into their hands to install someone as Oba without the approval of the government as that will serve as a deterrent to others.