Ibese Obaship tussle: Ruling House petitions Ogun Gov, Speaker

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The Oloko Ruling House of Ibese, in Ogun State has written a petition to the State Governor, Dapo Abiodun and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, over the obaship tussle in Ibese.

According to the petition signed by the secretary of the Oloko Ruling House, Princess (Mrs.) Ojuolape Idowu Opeibi, both the Governor and the Speaker were urged to intervene in the matter to prevent crisis.

The family also used the medium to appeal to the Governor and the Speaker to warn government officials and state cabinet members to be neutral in taking a decision on the Obaship tussle.

Below are copies of the petitions, made available to Newsworldprime:

First the one written to the Governor;

His Excellency,

Prince Dapo Abiodun (M.F.R.),

Executive Governor of Ogun State,

Governor’s Office,

Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

Your Excellency,

 PLEASE SAVE OUR SOULS:

A VERY URGENT APPEAL FROM OLOKO RULING HOUSE OF IBESE

  1. Express of Gratitude

We members of the Oloko Ruling House of Ibese, whose turn it is to occupy the throne of Ibese rendered vacant on 12th January, 2017, by the demise of our Royal Father, HRM Oba Joel Bamgbose, Aboro of Ibeseland (may his soul rest in peace, Amen), greet you very warmly and send you very hearty compliments of the season.

We also take this opportunity to thank you and the entire member of the Administration for your invaluable contribution to the peace, progress and development of our dear Ogun State. More grease to your elbows.

  1. Obaship Succession Tussle in Ibese

It is common knowledge that Ibese Community is currently being torn apart by a dispute about succession to its vacant throne. The tussle is traceable to two main sources – first, the Alangbo Ruling House of Ibese from which the late Oba Bamgbose had hailed, and which wants the vacancy to be filled by a candidate of its own choice; and second, by Mr. Rotimi Mulero, one of the obaship candidates who desperately wants to occupy the throne by all means – fair or foul.

  1. Prince Azeez Adedimeji Idowu, Oloko Ruling House’s Choice

Shortly after HRM Oba Bamgbose’s death, the Oloko Ruling House met and called on all members of the Ruling House who were interested in vying for the vacant throne to indicate their interest. Several candidates were considered; but it was Prince Azeez Adedimeji Idowu that was eventually selected.

The Ruling House didn’t limit the exercise to merely selecting a candidate. On 14th September, 2017, it presented Prince Azeez to the entire Ibese Community – including the youths, the elders, men and women in general, and the four surviving Ibese kingmakers.

He was enthusiastically received by all and sundry, thus conclusively proving that he is the community’s favourite candidate. The presentation ceremony was repeated two times thereafter – just to make assurance doubly sure. The result was the same.

  1. The Aborted Obaship Candidate Selection Exercise

But, as Prince Azeez wasn’t the only candidate vying for the throne, a public meeting was held on 30th January, 2019, at the Maternity Centre premises, Ibese, to give each of the candidates – they were four in number – the opportunity to present themselves and try to convince the Oloko Ruling House, which had organized the meetings that they were the right and proper persons to occupy the throne.

Apart from members of the Oloko Ruling House, all the our candidates – namely – Prince Azeez Adedimeji Idowu, Pastor Alexander Adegbemiro Idowu, Mr. Rotimi Mulero, and Mr. Mustapha Bankole – as well as representatives of the Yewa North Local Government (YNLG), Ayetoro, were present. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Simeon Oluremi Ige (now of blessed memory), the Leader of Ruling House (Olori-Ebi).

Each and everyone of the candidates presented his case and all the proceedings were videoed and recorded. My Ige made it clear that Mr. Mulero wasn’t qualified to vie for the throne because he was barred by the 1957 Ibese Chieftaincy Declaration. Even he himself, Mr. Mulero admitted that his candidacy was flawed because it contradicted the provisions of the declaration and because he was from the female line and belonged not to the first but to the fourth generation of that line.

The presentations showed clearly not only that Prince Azeez Adedimeji was in the lead but also that he as poised to win if voting should take place. The meeting was about to vote to select only one candidate when Mr. Mulero, realizing that he was about to lose, suddenly jumped out and began physically disrupt the meeting. As a result of the disruption, voting couldn’t take place. Not surprising in their report, the YNLG Officials stated that the meeting was inconclusive.

  1. The 1957 Ibese Chieftaincy Declaration

For ease of reference, the 1957 Ibese Chieftaincy Declaration referred to above and which, as already pointed out, bars Mr. Mulero’s access to the throne, is attached herewith.  Following are its highlights:- (i) Normal succession to the stool (i.e. the throne) is through the male line of the Ruling House; (ii) Succession can devolve on the female line only when there are no suitable candidates (sons) from the line; (iii) In the female line the candidate is limited to the male descendants of the female line in the first generation (i.e. sons of the daughter).

  1. The Alangbo Ruling House and Mr. Rotimi Mulero

The Alangbo Ruling House’s desperate search for a candidate of their own choice and after their own heart led them to Mr. Rotimi Mulero. They decided to sponsor him for two main reasons. Firs he appeared to have a lot of money not only to invest in his candidacy but also to make liberally available to them. Secondly, Mr. Mulero was said to have promised to put himself completely at their beck and call and do their bidding if they helped him to gain access to the throne.

  1. Suborning of Ibese Kingmakers

Fully backed by the Alangbo Ruling House, and very desperate to occupy the throne, Mr. Mulero set out to suborn the kingmakers – all in a bid to enable him gain by another means what he had failed to achieve at the 30th January, 2019, meeting. According to reliable information, he gave each of them a humongous amount of money to purchase their support.

On 25 March, 2019, the kingmakers met at the YNLG Secretariat, Ayetoro, and ARBITRARILY and UNILATERALLY selected Mr. Rotimi Mulero, even though (i) he had neither been selected nor nominated by the Oloko Ruling House; (ii) he had been specifically barred by the 1957 Ibese Chieftaincy Declaration; and (iii) Prince Azeez Adedimeji Idowu who was never considered by them, is the one and only candidate of the Oloko Ruling House.

At the bogus meeting, only three of the kingmakers voted for Mr. Mulero. The fourth kingmaker, Chief Taiwo Iwolowa, Elemo of Ibeseland, who was renowned for his very high principles, acute conscience and personal integrity, objected. He warned them that (i) the Ibese throne was not for sale; (ii) that the Oloko Ruling House’s candidate was Prince Adedimeji Idowu and not Mr. Mulero, who had never been nominated or recommended by the Ruling House; and (iii) that Mr. Mulero is disqualified by the 1957 Ibese Chieftaincy Declaration. They ignored him and flatly rejected his objections.

  1. Intervention of the High Court

Appalled by the rate and ease with which Mr. Mulero was dishing out millions of Naira and using the police to harass people all over the place, the Oloko Ruling House’s realized that, unless effective counter measures were taken, Mr. Mulero might jolly well become the new Oba of Ibese. The Ruling Hues resorted to the law court.

The case is currently before the High Court, Ayetoro, which has already issued two injunctions on it. Its final verdict is being awaited.

  1. Stance of the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs

As is to be expected, the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs has been playing a prominent role in the obaship succession issue. To save time, only some of the correspondence it has issued out in this respect will be cited here.

First, in a letter dated 18th April, 2019, it asked the kingmakers to explain the suitability or otherwise of candidates of the male line of the Oloko Ruling House – that is to state why a candidate of the female line was selected even though there were male line candidates.

Secondly, in another letter (dated 6th May, 2019), this time addressed to the Chairman of the YNLG, the Ministry asked why the provisions of the 1957 Declaration were not followed by the kingmakers.

Lastly, the Ministry asked the Ministry of Justice for legal advice on the report of the YNLG officials declaring the 30th January, 2019, candidate selection exercise inconclusive. In its reply the Justice Ministry upheld the conclusion that the exercise was inconclusive and advised that the entire exercise be nullified. In other words, the exercise should be started afresh.

  1. Attorney-General Ogungbade and SSG Tokunbo Talabi and their roles in the tussle

For reasons rather difficult to understand, these two government officials – Mr. Ogungbade (SAN), Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, and Mr. Tokunbo Talabi, Secretary to the State Government (SSG) – have constituted themselves into sworn enemies of Oloko Ruling House.

In a memorandum recently submitted to the Ogun State Executive Council, Mr. Ogungbade declared his predecessor’s legal opinion stating that the 30th January, 2019, selection exercise was inclusion as null and void. He declared it conclusive and then recommended that the Executive Council should approve it and authorize that Mr. Mulero be immediately installed as the new Oba of Ibese!

As the SSG Talabi, he is working hand-in-hand with Mr. Ogungbade. It is even said that it was he that pushed the Attorney-General to write and submit the unfortunately and dangerous memo. He is the god-father of Mr. Mulero; the latter is his protégé. The basis of his rabid hated of the Oloko Ruling House as well as his unrelenting sponsorship of Mr. Mulero is suspicious and should be investigated by the EFCC.

  1. Our Humble Request

Your Excellency, Sir, our humble request is four-fold. First, that you please save us the Oloko Ruling House from these various personalities – like Attorney-General Ogungbade and SSG Talabi – who are using their power and influence to oppress us and to deprive us of our legitimate right;

Secondly, Your Excellency, please reject the Ogungbade memo and throw it into the wastebaskets.

Third, that you please help to ensure that the 1957 Ibese Chieftaincy Declaration is kept totally sacrosanct; and

Fourth, that you please help convince all and sundry to allow the High Court to go on with and conclude its adjudication of the Obaship succession tussle.

  1. Ibese, a volatile community

It is common knowledge that Ibese is a very volatile community. It is like a bomb waiting to explode a tinderbox waiting to be ignited. In August last year, the community went haywire. Several lives were lost and many Dangote Cement trailers were set ablaze. Just about a year previously, a similar calamity had occurred there.

If Mr. Mulero, an unpopular obaship candidate whose candidature was categorically rejected by the Oloko Ruling House only to the UNILATERALLY AND ARBITRARILY approved by disloyal kingmakers, is imposed on the community, the result is likely to be very devastating indeed. It is the duty of all stakeholders to ensure that such a calamity does not occur.

Your Excellency, Sir, millions of thanks for your patience, forbearance and empathy.

Yours faithfully,

Princess (Mrs.) Ojuolape Idowu Opeibi,

Secretary of Oloko Ruling House of Ibese,

For and on behalf of the Ruling House

Copy to:

  1. HRM Oba Kehinde Gbadewole Olugbenle,

Asade Agunloye IV,

The Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland,

Yewa, Ogun State.

  1. Rt. Hon. Olukunle Oluomo

Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly (OGHA),

Assembly Complex,

Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

  1. Hon. Moruf Afolabi Afuape,

Hon. Comm. for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs,

Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

  1. The Permanent secretary,

Ministry of Justice and Civil Litigation,

Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

  1. The Chairman,

Committee on Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs,

Ogun State House of Assembly,

Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

And then the one written to the Speaker;

Rt. Hon. Olukunle Oluomo

Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly (OGHA),

Assembly Complex,

Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

Hon. Speaker,

PLEASE SAVE OUR SOULS:

A VERY URGENT APPEAL FROM OLOKO RULING HOUSE OF IBESE

  1. Express of Gratitude

We members of the Oloko Ruling House of Ibese, whose turn it is to occupy the throne of Ibese rendered vacant on 12th January, 2017, by the demise of our Royal Father, HRM Oba Joel Bamgbose, Aboro of Ibeseland (may his soul rest in peace, Amen), greet you very warmly and send you very hearty compliments of the season.

We also take this opportunity to thank you and the entire House of Assembly for your invaluable contribution to the peace, progress and development of our dear Ogun State. More grease to your elbows.

  1. Obaship Succession Tussle in Ibese

It is common knowledge that Ibese Community is currently being torn apart by a dispute about succession to its vacant throne. The tussle is traceable to two main sources – first, the Alangbo Ruling House of Ibese from which the late Oba Bamgbose had hailed, and which wants the vacancy to be filled by a candidate of its own choice; and second, by Mr. Rotimi Mulero, one of the obaship candidates who desperately wants to occupy the throne by all means – fair or foul.

  1. Prince Azeez Adedimeji Idowu, Oloko Ruling House’s Choice

Shortly after HRM Oba Bamgbose’s death, the Oloko Ruling House met and called on all members of the Ruling House who were interested in vying for the vacant throne to indicate their interest. Several candidates were considered; but it was Prince Azeez Adedimeji Idowu that was eventually selected.

The Ruling House didn’t limit the exercise to merely selecting a candidate. On 14th September, 2017, it presented Prince Azeez to the entire Ibese Community – including the youths, the elders, men and women in general, and the four surviving Ibese kingmakers.

He was enthusiastically received by all and sundry, thus conclusively proving that he is the community’s favourite candidate. The presentation ceremony was repeated two times thereafter – just to make assurance doubly sure. The result was the same.

  1. The Aborted Obaship Candidate Selection Exercise

But, as Prince Azeez wasn’t the only candidate vying for the throne, a public meeting was held on 30th January, 2019, at the Maternity Centre premises, Ibese, to give each of the candidates – they were four in number – the opportunity to present themselves and try to convince the Oloko Ruling House, which had organized the meetings that they were the right and proper persons to occupy the throne.

Apart from members of the Oloko Ruling House, all the our candidates – namely – Prince Azeez Adedimeji Idowu, Pastor Alexander Adegbemiro Idowu, Mr. Rotimi Mulero, and Mr. Mustapha Bankole – as well as representatives of the Yewa North Local Government (YNLG), Ayetoro, were present. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Simeon Oluremi Ige (now of blessed memory), the Leader of Ruling House (Olori-Ebi).

Each and everyone of the candidates presented his case and all the proceedings were videoed and recorded. My Ige made it clear that Mr. Mulero wasn’t qualified to vie for the throne because he was barred by the 1957 Ibese Chieftaincy Declaration. Even he himself, Mr. Mulero admitted that his candidacy was flawed because it contradicted the provisions of the declaration and because he was from the female line and belonged not to the first but to the fourth generation of that line.

The presentations showed clearly not only that Prince Azeez Adedimeji was in the lead but also that he as poised to win if voting should take place. The meeting was about to vote to select only one candidate when Mr. Mulero, realizing that he was about to lose, suddenly jumped out and began physically disrupt the meeting. As a result of the disruption, voting couldn’t take place. Not surprising in their report, the YNLG Officials stated that the meeting was inconclusive.

  1. The 1957 Ibese Chieftaincy Declaration

For ease of reference, the 1957 Ibese Chieftaincy Declaration referred to above and which, as already pointed out, bars Mr. Mulero’s access to the throne, is attached herewith.  Following are its highlights:- (i) Normal succession to the stool (i.e. the throne) is through the male line of the Ruling House; (ii) Succession can devolve on the female line only when there are no suitable candidates (sons) from the line; (iii) In the female line the candidate is limited to the male descendants of the female line in the first generation (i.e. sons of the daughter).

  1. The Alangbo Ruling House and Mr. Rotimi Mulero

The Alangbo Ruling House’s desperate search for a candidate of their own choice and after their own heart led them to Mr. Rotimi Mulero. They decided to sponsor him for two main reasons. Firs he appeared to have a lot of money not only to invest in his candidacy but also to make liberally available to them. Secondly, Mr. Mulero was said to have promised to put himself completely at their beck and call and do their bidding if they helped him to gain access to the throne.

  1. Suborning of Ibese Kingmakers

Fully backed by the Alangbo Ruling House, and very desperate to occupy the throne, Mr. Mulero set out to suborn the kingmakers – all in a bid to enable him gain by another means what he had failed to achieve at the 30th January, 2019, meeting. According to reliable information, he gave each of them a humongous amount of money to purchase their support.

On 25 March, 2019, the kingmakers met at the YNLG Secretariat, Ayetoro, and ARBITRARILY and UNILATERALLY selected Mr. Rotimi Mulero, even though (i) he had neither been selected nor nominated by the Oloko Ruling House; (ii) he had been specifically barred by the 1957 Ibese Chieftaincy Declaration; and (iii) Prince Azeez Adedimeji Idowu who was never considered by them, is the one and only candidate of the Oloko Ruling House.

At the bogus meeting, only three of the kingmakers voted for Mr. Mulero. The fourth kingmaker, Chief Taiwo Iwolowa, Elemo of Ibeseland, who was renowned for his very high principles, acute conscience and personal integrity, objected. He warned them that (i) the Ibese throne was not for sale; (ii) that the Oloko Ruling House’s candidate was Prince Adedimeji Idowu and not Mr. Mulero, who had never been nominated or recommended by the Ruling House; and (iii) that Mr. Mulero is disqualified by the 1957 Ibese Chieftaincy Declaration. They ignored him and flatly rejected his objections.

  1. Intervention of the High Court

Appalled by the rate and ease with which Mr. Mulero was dishing out millions of Naira and using the police to harass people all over the place, the Oloko Ruling House’s realized that, unless effective counter measures were taken, Mr. Mulero might jolly well become the new Oba of Ibese. The Ruling Hues resorted to the law court.

The case is currently before the High Court, Ayetoro, which has already issued two injunctions on it. Its final verdict is being awaited.

  1. Stance of the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs

As is to be expected, the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs has been playing a prominent role in the obaship succession issue. To save time, only some of the correspondence it has issued out in this respect will be cited here.

First, in a letter dated 18th April, 2019, it asked the kingmakers to explain the suitability or otherwise of candidates of the male line of the Oloko Ruling House – that is to state why a candidate of the female line was selected even though there were male line candidates.

Secondly, in another letter (dated 6th May, 2019), this time addressed to the Chairman of the YNLG, the Ministry asked why the provisions of the 1957 Declaration were not followed by the kingmakers.

Lastly, the Ministry asked the Ministry of Justice for legal advice on the report of the YNLG officials declaring the 30th January, 2019, candidate selection exercise inconclusive. In its reply the Justice Ministry upheld the conclusion that the exercise was inconclusive and advised that the entire exercise be nullified. In other words, the exercise should be started afresh.

  1. Attorney-General Ogungbade and SSG Tokunbo Talabi and their roles in the tussle

For reasons rather difficult to understand, these two government officials – Mr. Ogungbade (SAN), Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, and Mr. Tokunbo Talabi, Secretary to the State Government (SSG) – have constituted themselves into sworn enemies of Oloko Ruling House.

In a memorandum recently submitted to the Ogun State Executive Council, Mr. Ogungbade declared his predecessor’s legal opinion stating that the 30th January, 2019, selection exercise was inclusion as null and void. He declared it conclusive and then recommended that the Executive Council should approve it and authorize that Mr. Mulero be immediately installed as the new Oba of Ibese!

As the SSG Talabi, he is working hand-in-hand with Mr. Ogungbade. It is even said that it was he that pushed the Attorney-General to write and submit the unfortunately and dangerous memo. He is the god-father of Mr. Mulero; the latter is his protégé. The basis of his rabid hated of the Oloko Ruling House as well as his unrelenting sponsorship of Mr. Mulero is suspicious and should be investigated by the EFCC.

  1. Our Humble Request

Mr. Speaker, Sir, our humble request is four-fold. First, that you please save us the Oloko Ruling House from these various personalities – like Attorney-General Ogungbade and SSG Talabi – who are using their power and influence to oppress us and to deprive us of our legitimate right;

Secondly, that you please help to persuade His Excellency our Governor to reject the Ogungbade memo and throw it into the wastebaskets.

Third, that you please help to ensure that the 1957 Ibese Chieftaincy Declaration is kept totally sacrosanct; and

Fourth, that you please help convince all and sundry to allow the High Court to go on with and conclude its adjudication of the Obaship succession tussle.

  1. Ibese, a volatile community

It is common knowledge that Ibese is a very volatile community. It is like a bomb waiting to explode a tinderbox waiting to be ignited. In August last year, the community went haywire. Several lives were lost and many Dangote Cement trailers were set ablaze. Just about a year previously, a similar calamity had occurred there.

If Mr. Mulero, an unpopular obaship candidate whose candidature was categorically rejected by the Oloko Ruling House only to the UNILATERALLY AND ARBITRARILY approved by disloyal kingmakers, is imposed on the community, the result is likely to be very devastating indeed. It is the duty of all stakeholders to ensure that such a calamity does not occur.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, millions of thanks for your patience, forbearance and empathy.

Yours faithfully,

Princess (Mrs.) Ojuolape Idowu Opeibi,

Secretary of Oloko Ruling House of Ibese,

For and on behalf of the Ruling House

Copy to:

  1. HRM Oba Kehinde Gbadewole Olugbenle,

Asade Agunloye IV,

The Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland,

Yewa, Ogun State.

  1. Hon. Moruf Afolabi Afuape,

Hon. Comm. for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs,

Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

  1. The Permanent secretary,

Ministry of Justice and Civil Litigation,

Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

  1. The Chairman,

Committee on Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs,

Ogun State House of Assembly,

Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

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