Oke-Onigbin stool: Aggrieved ruling house petitions Gov Ahmed

Date: 2017-05-13

Members of Odo-Oja Ruling House in Oke-Onigbin town, Isin Local Government Area of Kwara State have written a petition to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, protesting the appointment of Alhaji Kamaldeen Salaudeen as Onigbin of Oke-Onigbin. They said the nomination and installation of the monarch has distorted the history, custom and tradition of the town as the appointee was not from any of the ruling houses entitled to the throne.

A letter written to the Governor and signed by one Chief Samuel Abolarinwa on behalf of the Odo-Oja Ruling House, said the appointment of Oba Salaudeen came when the issue of who mounts the throne was still being contested in a law court.

The Odo-Oja ruling house insisted that Onigbin of Oke-Onigbin remains a creation of established norms and custom of the two through which only the direct descendants of Baba Ako, a first settler in town, and Baba Odumo are eligible to vie for the throne whenever it is declared vacant.

The copy of the letter, which was made available to The Herald On Sunday in Ilorin yesterday, said Salaudeen, being from Alapo compound, an Idolu in Oke-Onigbin, was not qualified to be appointed as Onigbin of Oke-Onigbin.

It said the appointment if not revisited could distort the heritage of the town for life.

According to the letter, only nominees from the four ruling houses including Egbaraojosan Ruling House Ile-Nla, Aniyaloye Ruling House Ile Odo-Oja, Amoyeniyi Ruling House Ile Baale (Ile Olotin) and Aleniloye Ruling House Ile Odogboeyin are eligible and could ascend the throne of Onigbin of Oke-Onigbin.

"We, the Principal Members of Odo-Oja Ruling House of Oke-Onigbin Town in Isin Local Government Area of Kwara State, on behalf of ourselves and the entire Odo-Oja Ruling House, hereby bring this Complaint before your Excellency, in compliance with Section 3 (3) of the Chiefs (Appointment and Deposition) Law of Kwara State, to draw your attention to the apparent distortion and breach of the Customary Law and practice of Oke-Onigbin in the purported appointment of one Alhaji Kamaldeen Salaudeen as Onigbin of Oke-Onigbin.

"In our apprehension of the breach of our Native Law and Custom with the consideration of Alhaji Kamaldeen Salaudeen as the Onigbin of Oke-Onigbin, we had filed a suit at the High Court, Ilorin in Suit No. KWS/88/2015 between Chief Timothy Alabi Bamidele and 2 Ors and Mr Kamaldeen Salaudeen and 5 Ors; but to the suit was struck out based on the letter of the Attorney General of 27th January, 2015 where we were informed that "there is no indication of any request being received from anybody requesting for approval of Appointment, Gazette and installation of Mr Kamaldeen Salaudeen as Oba of Oke-Onigbin.

"To our greatest surprise, rumours became rife that while the case was on going, that your office had considered Mr Kamaldeen Salaudeen as Oba of Oke-Onigbin despite the reassurance by a letter from the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development of 2nd March, 2016, that they await outcome of the Court process.

"On the 27th March, 2017, we instructed our lawyers, Messrs TZA-Zion Attorneys, to write to your good office to confirm the status of the stool in Oke-Onigbin and a letter of reminder dated 10th April, 2017 was also forwarded on our behalf to ascertain the true position of things. We are yet to receive a reply to these letters.

"In course of our findings, we stumble on a booklet allegedly titled "The Official Programme; Kwara State Government Presentation of 3rd Class Staff of Office to Oba (Alhaji Kamaldeen Salaudeen, Onigbin of Oke-Onigbin by his Excellency (Alhaji) (Dr) Abdulfatah Ahmed Executive Governor of Kwara State Date: Saturday, 16th April, 2016", which goes to confirm all the rumour we have been hearing. The programme was done in secrecy and the said document was brought to our notice on the 15th of April 2017, which prompted this complaint.

That while our matter was still pending in the Courts, a wrongly nominated person was installed to the vacant stool;

That Mr Kamaldeen Salaudeen is not from a ruling house known to our culture and history; and

That this action has distorted the history and the sanctity of our custom and tradition.

"While our matter was pending in court, a wrongly nominated person was installed to the vacant stool. The Courts relied on the information supplied by the Attorney-General of the State in response to our letter of 17th January, 2015 not to approve the appointment of Mr Kamaldeen Salaudeen as Oba of Oke-Onigbin to utilize any legal means of resolution to determine the subject matter and in the word of the Attorney General, he responded as follows.

"Please be informed that after going through our records and consultation with the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development, there is no indication of any request being received from anybody requesting for approval of Appointment, gazette and installation of Mr Kamaldeen Salaudeen as Oba of Oke-Onigbin"

"Based on this correspondence, we approached the court and when the matter was pending a wrongful person was nominated and installed.

"Mr Kamaldeen Salaudeen is not from a ruling house known to our custom, tradition and history: The founder and first settler of Oke-Onigbin was our forefather, Baba Akoo and the town was formerly known as Oke-Igbo. Baba Akoo invited his elder brother's (Baba Odumo) children after his demise to join him at Oke-Igbo from Odo-Igbo. Baba Akoo begot two children whose descendants are now known as the Ile-Nla and Odo-Oja Ruling Houses.

"Our forefathers have been fully settled before other people came to join them, which subsequently form/comprise of various compounds today forming Oke-Onigbin town in Isin Local Government of Kwara State. The other people that came to join them later formed various Compounds in Oke-Onigbin, which are today known as Idolu (foreigners) and by the records, there are four Ruling Houses in Oke-Onigbin, which are listed here under.

"That the traditional chieftaincy stool/title of Onigbin of Oke-Onigbin, is a creation of established norms and custom of Oke-Onigbin that only the direct descendants of Baba Ako and Baba Odumo that can ascend the throne of Oba of Oke-Onigbin in case of any vacancy.

"That it is pertinent to note the Ruling Houses that have been Oba (King) of Oke-Onigbin in accordance with the laid down native law and custom of Oke-Onigbin Land are:

A. Egbaraojosan Ruling House Ile-Nla

B. Aniyaloye Ruling House Ile Odo-Oja

C. Amoyeniyi Ruling House Ile Baale (Ile Olotin)

D. Aleniloye Ruling House Ile Odogboeyin

"By an affidavit filed and deposed to by one Mr Kolawole Lasisi on the 2nd July 2009 before the Omu-Aran High Court wherein all the Idolu compounds in Oke-Onigbin were listed and signed by their representatives, it is noteworthy that the representative of Ile-Alapo in the resolution was one late Chief Alapo Salawu Ajide, the father of Mr Kamaldeen Salaudeen.

"With the above submission, it becomes clear that Mr Kamaldeen Salaudeen, being from Alapo compound, an Idolu in Oke-Onigbin, is not qualified to be appointed as Onigbin of Oke-Onigbin and it is safe to conclude that Your Excellency's appointment of Mr Kamaldeen Salaudeen as Onigbin of Oke-Onigbin is irregular, null, void and of no moment, and if unchecked, will distort our heritage for life.

"We are mindful of Your Excellency's powers under Section 3 of the Chiefs Law of Kwara State and hereby call upon your Excellency to abide by, be bound with and only act upon the established native law and custom of Oke-Onigbin by appointing only a member of the Ruling Houses in Oke-Onigbin as the Onigbin of Oke-Onigbin; and in doing so, your Excellency will be writing your name on a gold plate of history in Oke-Onigbin".

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