17th February, 2014
Abiodun Onafuye/ Abeokuta
Abiodun Onafuye/ Abeokuta
The suspended High Chief of Ijebuland in the western Nigerian state of Ogun, Otunba Abdul Lateef Adebayo Owoyemi has denied suing the Paramount ruler, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, Ogbagba II. He said his family, the Fusenbguwa Ruling House, only joined the revered monarch in the suit for the purpose of ‘Judicial Declaration.’
In a statement issued over the weekend by the Fusengbuwa Ruling House, and signed by Prince Olasupo Oduwole on behalf of the family, the royal house said it received with shock, the suspension of the Head of the family, (Olori Ebi), Otunba Jadiara of Ijebuland by the Awujale over the legal action taken by the family to challenge
the second attempt by Otunba Subomi Balogun to claim headship of the family.
It noted that the business mogul had attempted to lay claim to the headship of the family in 2004 but met a stiff resistance from all the family members.
The Awujale of Ijebuland in a letter dated 10 February, 2014 and signed by the Secretary to the Awujale, suspended the former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, for what the Palace described as an abomination and sacrilege for suing the revered monarch, which is contrary to Ijebu culture and tradition.
But the family stated that it only joined the monarch in the suit as the 4th defendants, as ordinarily, those concerned are Otunba Subomi Balogun, the founder of FCMB, who is laying claim to the Headship of the ruling house, Chief Olu Adebanjo, the Balogun Agbasale of Idowa and Alhaji A.O. Sote, who stood in as the Secretary.
The statement reads in part,”…our joining His Majesty in the suit as the 4th defendant was only for a judicial declaration for His Majesty not to further recognize or deal with Otunba Subomi Balogun as our Olori Ebi. Our doing so was based on the strength of sound legal advice from a number of senior legal experts, who we consulted before our action was filed. We did not mean any harm or inconvenience for our Royal Father, who we continue to hold in the highest possible esteem at all times”.
The Fusengbuwa Ruling House thanked numerous groups, religious leaders and the Olorituns, (the ward heads), for their timely intervention, declaring that notice of discontinuance against the monarch was filed in court last Friday.
“..Following the intervention of several well meaning and respected community leaders of Ijebuland, most especially, the Chief Imam of Ijebuland and Wakeel Muslim of Ogun State, Sheik Imam Abdul Rasaq Salaudeen and his Chiefs, as well as the Ijebu Ode Council of Olorituns (Heads of the 39 Quarters ands Wards that constitutes Ijebu Ode), we have on the 14th February, 2014, filed a Notice of Discontinuance of our action against His Royal Majesty, the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba (Dr.) S.K. Adetona and duly brought same to the notice of the palace”, it stated.
The Ruling House, however affirmed that, contrary to the claim by the Olori Omo Oba of Ijebuland and the Founder of FCMB, Otunba Subomi Balogun that he is the acclaimed Head of the ruling house, the family
insisted that he is not, posited that, his promoter, Chief Timothy Olu Adebanjo, who led the delegation to present him to Awujale is not a member of the Ruling House, “and therefore acted illegally”.
The Fusengbuwa Ruling House, one of the four ruling houses in Ijebu Ode has been enmeshed in crisis over who is the head of the family.
Otunba Lateef Owoyemi, who was the deputy head of the family to the former Olori Ebi, Pince Adebisi Adeyemi, was said to have been appointed by the family after the death of the former Olori Ebi and letters have been written to all the appropriate quarters, including Awujale and the local government council.
The FCMB founder was also crowned as the Olori-ebi of Fusengbuwa, and was presented to the Awujale on Saturday, 22nd June, 2013, the development, which has torn the family apart since then