Four ruling houses at Ode Erinje community in Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State have appealed to the state’s acting governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, to wade into the kingship tussle in the community, as some officials of the local government allegedly planned to impose a monarch on the people of the town.
The stool of the town became vacant after the demise of the late Oba Simeon Akinlalu, who joined his ancestors in 2016.
The four ruling houses – the Ijaye, Alara, Gbogurun and Akinyemohun- alleged that the council and some warrant chiefs in the community planned to impose obaship candidate despite the court orders that restrained them.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by Prince Aduwo, Ebunola Agbede and Daisi Alara and made available to our correspondent on Monday.
According to the statement, the ruling houses urged the acting governor to caution the concerned senior council officials, not to cause crisis over the kingship matter in the community. They threatened that if the council continued with the process of enthronement of the Oba, it might lead to crisis in the town.
The statement reads in part, “After the demise of Oba S.O Akinlalu II, the 10th Orungberuwa of Ode Erinje, the case went to court in 2016. The above mentioned four ruling houses were in court to challenge the Ebiekuraju Ruling House. In 2017, the court placed an interim injunction and restrained all parties from taking further steps over the stool. Since then, the case has been pending in court.
“Last year, the acting Governor, His Excellency Mr lucky Ayedatiwa, invited all the parties to Akure, and after the meeting, he confirmed to us that Ode Erinje had no chieftaincy declaration and as such, he said the government’s hands were tied, coupled with numerous court injunctions and orders.
“The acting governor then advised all the parties to go back home and settle amicably by using Ode Erinje tradition and customs to select or elect our king. He said we should follow our traditional rotational system of order and to also make plan to lift all the court injunctions placed on the matter. The peace meeting was held, but the Olajorin faction of Ebiekuraju refused to sign the agreement reached after the meeting thereby making the meeting deadlocked.
“Despite all the court injunctions that subsist, we were shocked to get a letter from the council chairman directing kingmakers to nominate warrant chiefs. The Ijaye and Alara protested against this development by writing a protest letter to the relevant government agencies.”
In the same vein, the statement added that the Ijaye Ruling House also filed a new case at the Okitipupa High Court, with suit number No HOK/52/23, in August and got another court injunction, restraining all the parties and all the relevant government agencies, the chiefs and warrant chiefs of the community, from going ahead with the selection or election of a new monarch, pending the determination on the motions on notice
“We hereby use this medium to warn the warrant chiefs and the LG chairman to desist from going ahead. Failure or refusal to obey the court order and injunction will lead to the enforcement of the court order, consequently leading to their arrest and prosecutions,” the statement warned.