In a significant legal development, the Otun Olubadan of Ibadan, Chief Rashidi Ladoja, has filed a lawsuit against the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, and the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, regarding the recent elevation of 10 Ibadan High Chiefs to beaded crown-wearing Obas.
The suit was presented before the Oyo State High Court in Ibadan, with Chief Ladoja including the newly-elevated Obas as defendants.
It was exclusively reported by The PUNCH on June 22 that Governor Makinde had approved the elevation of the Ibadan High Chiefs to Obas based on the recommendation of the Olubadan.
The governor, last Friday, also presented the Staff of Office to the newly-appointed Obas, namely Owolabi Olakulehin, Tajudeen Ajibola, Eddy Oyewole, Lateef Adebimpe, Biodun Kola-Daisi, Kola Adegbola, Hamidu Ajibade, Olubunmi Isioye, Bayo Akande, and Abiodun Azeez.
Chief Ladoja, who is also an Ibadan high chief, expressed his opposition to the elevation and was notably absent from the coronation ceremony. He stated his sole interest in becoming the Olubadan of Ibadanland, adding, “I’m not interested in any other crown apart from that of Olubadan of Ibadanland. And everyone knows that it’s God who chooses the Oba in Ibadan.”
It is worth noting that Chief Ladoja had previously engaged in a legal battle with Governor Makinde’s predecessor, the late former governor Abiola Ajimobi, who had similarly elevated certain chiefs and baales to Obas in 2017. Chief Ladoja emerged victorious in the court case, which carried over into Governor Makinde’s first term.
Governor Makinde, however, chose not to appeal the ruling, while the high chiefs relinquished their crowns, ultimately paving the way for the current Olubadan’s ascension.
The lawsuit brought forth by Chief Ladoja against Governor Makinde and the Olubadan underscores the continuing contentious issue surrounding the elevation of high chiefs to Obas in Ibadan. As the legal proceedings unfold, the outcome will significantly impact the future of Ibadan’s traditional leadership and governance structure.