On Thursday, the Osun State government initiated a fresh selection process for the positions of Aree of Iree and Owa of Igbajo after nullifying the initial processes. Additionally, the government declared the stool of Akinrun of Ikirun, Oba Olalekan Akadiri, vacant, urging all parties to await the resolution of a pending lawsuit on the stool in the Court of Appeal.
According to a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Kolapo Alimi, the government's decisions were outlined in six White Papers based on investigations into issues raised by executive orders issued by Governor Ademola Adeleke in November 2022.
Adeleke had reversed the appointments of royal fathers made by his predecessor, Adegboyega Oyetola, at the end of his tenure. Specifically, he instructed Aree of Iree, Oba Ademola Raphael, Owa of Igbajo, Oba Gboyegba Famoodun, and Akinrun of Ikirun, Oba Akadiri, to vacate their palaces, initiating investigations into the processes leading to their coronation.
The opposition party, represented by its chairman, Tajudeen Lawal, asserted that the review of the Owa of Igbajoland's coronation was an "unpopular, oppressive exhibition of personal vendetta and an abusive reprisal" that would not withstand legal scrutiny.
The statement read, “It is strange that Governor Adeleke, notwithstanding the pendency of the suit, keeps hounding, humiliating, oppressing, and denying Oba Famodun his rights.
“The needless intervention of Adeleke with his resultant nullification of the selection process that produced Oba Gboyega Famodun as the Owa of Igbajoland is a pungent acting of a meddlesome interloper in a subsisting matter in the court of law by the incompetent and Governor-by-proxy Ademola Adeleke.
“The approach of Governor Adeleke on the issue at stake flagrantly offends the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which expressly allows for separation of powers among the executive, the legislature and the judiciary.
“The fact remains that the nullification of the obaship selection process which followed a due process can neither sit nor stand because it is a product of political vindictiveness.”
Responding, spokesperson for the governor, Olawale Rasheed, said Adeleke complied with due process, rule of law and the tradition of the various affected towns in the white paper.