Ladoja withdraws lawsuit, clears path for Olubadan enthronement

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The Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, on Tuesday, finally withdrew the suit he filed against members of Olubadan-In-Council.

The development put an end to legal hostilities between Ladoja and other members of the Olubadan-in-Council, following the elevation and crowning of other high chiefs by the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde in July 2023.

Ladoja had instituted the suit against Governor Makinde, after the late Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, recommended the elevation of Ibadan High Chiefs to beaded-wearing kings.

In the suit he filed before the state High Court in Ibadan, Ladoja also joined Oba Balogun and the elevated obas as defendants.

The first defendant in the suit was the late Oba Balogun, while the 12th defendant was Governor Makinde.

The second to the 11th defendants were the crowned kings.

Ladoja sought a declaration that the constitution of the judicial commission of inquiry to review the existing 1957 Chieftaincy Declaration of the Olubadan of Ibadanland and other related matters, particularly to the requirement/qualification for ascendancy to the Olubadan from Otun and Balogun lines, contrary to the extant Chiefs Law Cap 28 Laws of Oyo State, are unconstitutional, illegal, null, void and of no effect.

He also asked for a declaration that any report issued or to be issued on the 1957 Chieftaincy Declaration of the Olubadan of Ibadanland and or the issue of the beaded crown is unconstitutional, contrary to the Chiefs Law, ultra vires, null and void.

This controversy generated by the legal tussles has stalled the coronation of the Olubadan-designate, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, as the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadanland.

Oba Olakulehin, it will be recalled, had been properly selected and nominated as the next Olubadan of Ibadanland as a meeting of the kingmakers held at the Oja’ba Palace, Mapo, on April 12, with the final leg of approval by the governor being awaited.

Ladoja, it was gathered, indicated his willingness to withdraw the suit he initiated against other council members on the condition that the two parties would sign the terms of settlement as prepared.

Speaking recently while playing host to the visiting compound heads of Ibadanland, popularly referred to as Mogajis, and led by Chief Asimiyu Ariori, at his Ondo Street residence in Bodija, Ibadan, Ladoja said, “Myself and other members of Olubadan-in-Council have been sitting together and talking. We have agreed to withdraw the case from court.

“I heard that they have started signing the agreement. After all of them have signed, I will also sign my own aspect, and the next day, we will file for withdrawal of the case from court.”

The defendants in the suit, however, insisted that there was no need to sign any agreement for the out-of-court settlement again since they had abided by the 1957 Chieftaincy Declaration.

The Osi Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Lateef Gbadamosi, who spoke on behalf of other council members at the end of a meeting held at the Olubadan Palace, Oja’ba, said since they had complied with the 1957 Chieftaincy Declaration, there was no need to sign any documents.

Oba Gbadamosi explained that what was left now for the enthronement of the next Olubadan was for High Chief Ladoja to withdraw the suit filed against members of the council.

With Tuesday’s withdrawal of the suit by Ladoja, the coast is now clear for the enthronement of the Olubadan-designate, Oba Olakulehin, as the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadanland.

When contacted, one of the aides to Ladoja, Adeola Oloko, confirmed that the case had been withdrawn from the court.

Oloko said counsel for the litigant would approach the court on Wednesday (today) for an enrolment order, after which the defendants would be served with the case withdrawal notice.

He said, “Baba has withdrawn the case filed against the Olubadan-In-Council from the court. This will facilitate the enthronement of Oba Owolabi Olakulehin as the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadanland.

“Ladoja has lived up to his promise to the people of Ibadanland to withdraw the case from the court.

“There is no longer any delay from his end. What is next now is for Governor Makinde to approve the nomination of Oba Olakulehin as the next Olubadan.”