JUDICIARY

Serious Crisis in Abeokuta As Kingmakers Allegedly Appoints Ibadan Man New Olowu

A fresh crisis is brewing over the process of appointing new Olowu of Owu Kingdom in Abeokuta, Ogun State, as two royal families rejected one Prince Saka Matemilola as the candidate for the stool.

The two royal families, represented by a prince, Tajudeen Adelani, and a princess, Aminat Adesina, have separately petitioned the Ogun State Government, warning against the appointment of Matemilola, who they described as a non-indigene, as the Olowu of Owu.

Matemilola is one of the seven princes screened by the Owu kingmakers led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Balogun of Owu, on March 30, 2022.

The candidates were nominated by the Otileta Ruling House, the next in line to produce a new Olowu.

The seven candidates include an Archbishop of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Dr. Adegbemi Adewale, with 1,027 scores at the end of the ruling house selection.

Others are Prince Adeyanju Bakinson a registered Town Planner from Ile Otopo; Simeon Soyele, a veteran journalist from Ile Lumosa and Adesina Adelani, a Project Management Consultant from Ile Soke.

Obasanjo, on March 30, led other kingmakers in a seven-hour selection process to produce the next Olowu of Owu Kingdom.

It was gathered that, at the end of the screening, the kingmakers had forwarded their report to the state Governor, Dapo Abiodun, who is expected to announce the next Olowu of Owu Kingdom.

However, the two petitioners from the royal families in their petitions asked Abiodun and Obasanjo-led kingmakers to be wary of appointing a “non-indigene” as the next Olowu.

Both petitioners, Adelani and Adesina from Ile Omoleefon and Aderinoye, two of the compounds that make up the Otileta ruling house, objected to the choice of Matemilola, who was reported to have been selected by the kingmakers during the screening process.

In their separate petitions to the Ministries of Justice, Local Government, and Chieftaincy Affairs, the petitioners said Matemilola “is a native of Ibadan in Ibadan North-East Local Government Area of Oyo State,” making him ineligible to the throne of the Olowu.

They insisted that the candidate had alluded to his Ibadan indigeneship in an affidavit he swore to, dated May 15, 2000, at the High Court Registry in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Adelani, in his petition, pointed out that “In the form submitted by Prince Saka Adelola Matemilola, it was discovered that he is not from Ile Soke which he claimed (evidence attached), but the house and the kingmakers did not take cognisance of it.”

On her part, Adesina, the Secretary of Aderinoye compound in the Ruling House, said Matemilola is “unqualified being a non-indigene” to the throne and appealed to Abiodun and the kingmakers to “stop the desecration of the customs and tradition in Owu kingdom.”

When contacted, Matemilola said, “I am saying that the affidavit is correct and consistent. I also have a birth certificate that shows I was born in Ibadan. So, check the consistency of that, check the meaning of the word ‘native’ instead of the word ‘indigene,’ then do your story.

“Apart from that, there is no other reaction from me.”

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