Obaship tussle: Igbooye residents send SOS to Gov. Sanwo-Olu


Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu of Lagos

By Oluwole Adeboye

Residents of Igbooye Community in Eredo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) Epe, Lagos have rejected the purported nomination of one Rasaq Musa Adebamowo as Orijeru Of Igbooye by a section of the Ewade family of Igbooye contrary to the laid down procedure of the community for the position of Oba.

Speaking at a press briefing In Lagos, the Secretary to the Community and of the Erelu Ruling House, Otunba Anthony Oguntimehin said, “It is therefore imperative to set the record straight concerning the concocted appointment of Rasaq Musa Adebamowo as replacement for the position of Oba Orijeru of Igbooye land.

“The current occupant of the stool, Oba Michael Gbadebo Onakoya was nominated by the four ruling houses and he became the Oba after the due process of selection.

“It, however, baffles us that Mr Wasiu Musa Adebamowo, a Deputy Director at the Lagos State Ministry Of Justice, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos has been mobilizing people for the coronation of his younger brother starting from the Eredo LCDA to meeting of the Obas in Epe Division and other moves to get the approval of the state governor, Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu .”

Adebamowo, popularly called Otunba, is said to be bent on single-handedly imposing his brother as Oba without recourse to the age-long norms of the community in line with the selection process as spelt out in the declaration made by the Lagos State Government.

He was also said to have removed Chief Caleb Ogunnubi as the Head of Okuyemi Okuboyejo branch of the Ewade ruling house in 2021 and replaced him with his younger sister in the person of Mrs Kikelomo Oladeji which the community regarded as a taboo and against the culture of Igbooye Community.

The 83-year-old traditional ruler, Oba Michael Gbadebo Onakoya expressed his view: “Wanting to be Oba should not be a do-or-die affair. When I was nòt at home thugs sponsored by Wasiu Musa Adebamowo stormed my residence, beat my wife into a coma and she was thereafter rushed to Epe General Hospital by good samaritans where she spent two weeks. The incident was reported at the Naforija Divisional Headquarters and to the Operatives of DSS.”

A renowned legal practitioner and an indigene of Igbooye, Barrister Ganiyu Adebanjo pointedly said, “As far as I am concerned, legally speaking all that they are doing with respect to one Abdulrasaq Musa being referred to as Orijeru-elect is a waste of time. He sued the current occupant of the stool in the person of Oba Michael Gbadebo Onakoya. The matter had proceeded from the High Court to the Court of Appeal and presently at the Supreme Court. Since the Apex court has not decided on the merit of the case they need to wait for the matter to be appropriately terminated at the Supreme Court.”

According to community sources, the Ewade ruling house has been split into two with separate heads- Mr Wasiu Musa Adebamowo is heading a faction while Mr Julius Lawal is heading another faction.

The matter concerning the headship of Ewade ruling house is also said to be pending before Justice Animahun at the Epe High Court.

“Now he is hell-bent on imposing his biological younger brother Mr Rasak Musa Adebamowo as the next Oba Orijeru of Igbooye despite the existence of a pending appeal tagged Oba Michael Gbadebo Onakoya vs Alhaji M A Kadri and others at the Supreme Court, a matter yet to be heard and determined on merit,” a concerned family figure said.

The community is, therefore, sending a ‘Save Our Soul’ appeal to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to order the Ministry of Justice; the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs; the Council of Obas and Chiefs, Epe division, and the Executive Chairman Eredo Local Council Development Area to wade in and forestall a breakdown of law and order.

“Our peace-loving Governor should please order a halt of action on the selection process that is unknown to the culture, norms and traditions of the Igbooye Community pending the determination on merit of the appeal pending at the Supreme Court.

“Mr Wasiu Musa had a strong faith in the litigation process before he approached the High Court in 2008 to ventilate his anger and grievances against the arrangement made by the community elders then and he cannot be in a hurry now to truncate the litigation process he commenced 17 years ago midway, thereby creating a monumental crisis in our community,” the family appealed.

It informed that copies of an appeal letter with the captioned “RE-ISSUE OF OBASHIP IN IGBOOYE, EREDO LOCAL COUNCIL DEVELOPMENT AREA (LCDA) dated 20 May 2024 had been sent to the Governor Of Lagos State, Deputy Governor Of Lagos State, The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Solicitor General, Permanent Secretary and the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs and the Chairman, Eredo LCDA, Eredo, Epe.

Others are the Chairman, Chieftaincy Committee, Eredo, LCDA and the Chairman, Council of Obas, Epe Division, Lagos.

The letter of appeal, signed by the secretary of the Igbooye Community and heads of three ruling houses reads in part: “Nomination for the position of Obaship of Igbooye must be brought to the attention of all the ruling houses in Igbooye after the candidate must have been nominated by all concerned in his ruling house. Other ruling houses shall then ratify the nomination. Where the candidate nominated satisfies the Community, the kingmakers comprising all the heads of the ruling houses and the Olisa of Igbooye shall then present the candidate to the concerned government department.

“Presently, there is no established Olisa of Igbooye since the demise of Chief Fatayi Mustapha on the 26th of April, 2017.

“Besides, the Orijeru stool has not been declared vacant by the government to warrant the commencement of a new selection process that will culminate into having a new oba because the appeal filed by the incumbent oba is still pending at the Supreme Court and yet to be determined on merit.”

Further information revealed that Mr Wasiu Musa Adebamowo had fixed the second day of Eid-el-Adha as the coronation day for his younger brother as Oba of Orijeru of Igbooye with Ankara uniform already being distributed.

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