By James Sowole
Akure — The tussle over the stool of Osolo of Isolo community in Akure, the Ondo State capital, resurfaced at the weekend barely two months after the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi, appointed one Prince Edward Kolawole Adewole as high chief Osolo of Isolo.
The community yesterday, after the meeting of kingmakers, resolved that they would not allow Adewole to perform any traditional rites in the palace of Osolo as the community is set to celebrate its Owayoko yam festival.
There had been contention over the Osolo Stool and that of Iralepo of Isikan following the Court of Appeal judgment which declared that traditional heads of the two areas should not bear the tittle of Oba but quarter chiefs.
Not satisfied by the judgment, the affected traditional rulers, the Iralepo and Osolo, approached the Supreme Court for final determination of the matter.
Meanwhile, the Isolo area of the state capital had for some years being administered by a regent, Princess Oluwabusola Oluwatuyi, following the demise of her father, who was the immediate past monarch of the community.
Sensing the danger that an attempt to install a substantive Oba for the area might cause problem in view of Obaship stool in Isolo and other parts of the state with similar matters, the Ondo State Government ordered that traditional rulers across the state should suspend appointment of minor chiefs within their domains pending the release of Government White Paper on Hon. Justice C.E.F Ajama Commission of Inquiry into Chieftaincy Matters.
In a letter signed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde, on April 27, 2017, it directed all traditional rulers in the state to suspend appointment of minor Obas, Olus, Baales, Chiefs.
According to the letter, “At the state security council meeting held on April 17, 2017, the state government was informed of the various chieftaincy and communal crisis that erupted in recent times upon the appointment of some minor Obas, Olus, Baales and Chiefs by some paramount rulers in the state.
“Government has considered the development and resolved that all such appointments should be suspended pending the release of Government White Paper on Hon. Justice C.E.F Ajama Commission of Inquiry into Chieftaincy Matters.
“All traditional rulers are therefore directed to suspend the appointment and removal of minor chiefs, pending the release of the White Paper.”
However, as the controversies rage, the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, appointed a high chief Adewole to occupy the Osolo Stool on June 4, 2018.
The appointment of Adewole did not go down well with the people of the community who had been protesting the action of the paramount ruler of Akure.
Spokesman for the Kingmakers and high chief Olusunla of Isolo, Hezekiah Babatunde, who spoke on the outcome of the council meeting, said the Deji’s action was contrary to the state government directive and an abuse of court process.
He said since the matter is before the Supreme Court in a suit No: SC NO 267/2012 between the Deji of Akure as defendant and Iralepo of Isinkan and Osolo of Isolo as appellants, the monarch ought to wait for the court to determine the Obaship status of the two communities.
Other high Chiefs at the council meeting were Chief Sao, Abiola Ogunjemilusi, Ibukun Adetoyinbo (Elemo), Adeleke Adeniyi (Obaseye), Chief Adidas (Aruwajoye) and Fagite Akosile (Agbaakin).
The spokesman stated that the stool of Osolo remain vacant in the eye of the law, adding that counsel to the appellants in the Supreme Court case, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), has told the court in the last sitting on July12, 2018, that the stool remain vacant until the appellate court makes it pronouncements on the suit filed by both Iralepo of Isinkan and Osolo of Isolo to determine their true status as kings over their respective communities.
“We, therefore, call on our Regent, Princess Adebusola Oluwatuyi, to immediately resume and commence further activities at the Osolo palace in preparation to host this year Owayoko festival and other traditional rites as the traditional head of the community,” Babatunde stated.
Reacting on the matter, the Chief Press Secretary to the Deji of Akure, Mike Adeyeye, said the Deji has not done anything wrong by appointing a high chief for Isolo community.
“It is crystal clear that the Appeal Court has dismissed the judgment of the high court since 2012.
“If you take a good look at the Supreme Court case being referred to by the so-called chiefs, you will find out that a ruling has been given by the Supreme Court with the panel headed by the current CJN. The court dismissed the case for want of diligent prosecution. The current attempt to seek the leave of the court to allow them prosecute the case afresh does not affect the judgment of the appeal court which is clear on the status of the Osolo and Iralepo.
“I want to tell you that the Osolo is a high chief under the Deji, and there is no acrimony between the Deji and the new Osolo as we speak.
“However, the Deji is not opposed to the upgrading of the Osolo. There will be time to talk about that and it will be harmoniously worked out,” he said.