Attempts by Governor Dapo Abiodun to demote the 75 Obas installed by former Governor Ibikunle Amosun suffered a set back as an Ogun State High Court upheld their appointments as coronet Obas.
NAIJA LIVE TV reports that at the twilight of his administration, Amosun had upgraded 75 local chiefs known as Baales to coronet Obas.
But, a few weeks after his inauguration, Gov Abiodun set up a committee headed by the Olu and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, to review the appointment, promotion and installation of the Obas.
While submitting its report, the committee recommended that the promotion of the traditional rulers from Baale to Oba should be reversed.
Consequently, Gov Abiodun, in February 2020, announced the demotion of the Obas, as recommended by the committee chaired by Oba Olugbenle.
Not satisfied, the 75 Obas dragged the governor and his government, asking that the court nullify their purported demotion on the basis that Abiodun does not have such powers.
Relying on the provisions of Section 30 Sub–Sections (1) and (2) of the Chiefs Law of Ogun State 2006, the embattled Monarchs argued that “the Executive Council of the Government of Ogun State can only suspend and depose an erring Oba,” saying their demotion was illegal.
Delivering judgment on Tuesday, Justice Abiodun Akinyemi affirmed the installation, appointment and promotion of the coronet Obas, declaring their demotion as unlawful, null and void.
According to Akinyemi, the traditional rulers were not given fair hearing by the Olugbenle-led committee, adding that the Abiodun “government failed to convey the sack of the traditional rulers to them through the appropriate individual or authority.”
He directed the state government to pay the Obas their entitlements and remunerations from the time of installation, with immediate effect.
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