As the succession crisis to who becomes the Oniru of Iru land, Lagos, rages, the Ogunyemi Ruling House is laying claim to the throne, saying it is the turn of the House to produce the next oba.
With this development, the three ruling houses, Ogunyemi, Abisogun and Akiogun are all laying claim to the throne. A potential crisis may snowball unless the situation is properly managed.
The throne was left vacant following the demise of Oba Idowu Oniru last year.
At a news conference on Tuesday in Victoria Island, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, elders of the Ogunyemi Ruling House said the fact that it had been quiet did not mean that it was not the turn of the House to produce the next king, as it wanted due process to be followed.
Prince Ademola Daramola, who read the speech on behalf of the Ogunyemi Ruling House said the press conference was held to disabuse the minds of the people of Lagos state about all forms of distortion perpetrated against the history of the Oniru Cheiftaincy Family.
He said it had come to their knowledge that certain misinformation about the right of succession to the stool of the Oniru of Lagos were being peddled over multiple media platfrorms and in the public space by certain persons.
Going down memory lane, he said by the provision of section 11 of the Obas and Chieftaincy Law of Lagos State 1981, a declaration is deemed to be the customary Law regulating the selection of a person to be the holder of a recognized chieftaincy and that a declaration excluded and superseded any other customary usage or rule.
”That on the 14th of September 1993, the then Executive Governor of Lagos State, Sir Michael Otedola in exercise of the powers conferred on him under Section 9(1) of the Obas and Chiefs Law of Lagos State 1981 approved the Lagos State Declaration made under the Cusomary Law Regulation Selection to the Oniru Chieftaincy of Lagos of 14th September that the Section 1 of the Declaration established identities and number of the Ruling Houses in the Oniru Chieftaincy Family to include the Abisogun, Akiogun and Ogunyemi.
”That Secion 2 of the Declaration specifies the order of rotation in which the respective Ruling Houses are entitled to provide candidates to fill the successive vacancies in the Oniru Chieftaincy as follows: Ogunyemi, Abisogun and Akiogun.
“That with the death of Chief Yesufu Abiodun Oniru in 1993 , on the 14th of September 1993, the Ogunymi Ruling House received a Letter of Public Notice from the Office of the Chairman of Eti-Osa Local Government Area (‘the Office of the Chairman’) (Ref. No. EOLG.00153/Vol. II/192) calling upon the Ogunyemi Ruling House to produce candidate (s) to fill the vacancy of Oniru of Lagos in the Oniru Chieftaincy within 30 days of receipt of the Notice.
“However, the last paragraph of Section 5 of the Declaration states that if the Ruling House whose turn it is to produce candidate(s) to fill the vacant Stool of Oniru of Lagos fails to provide one and there are more than one Ruling houses, the Ruling house next entitled according to the order of rotation contained in the Declaration shall be entitled to produce a candidate,” he explained.
Daramola added that Section 2 of the Declaration stated that the order of rotation shall be: Ogunyemi, Abisogun and Akiogun, saying it sufficed to say that whenever the Ogunyemi ruling house is unable to provide a candidate to fill the Stool when it is vacant, the next entitled Ruling House would be the Abisogun Ruling House.
”On the 14th of October 1993, with the Ogunyemi Ruling House having been unable to produce a candidate, the Office of the Chairman of Etio-Osa LG issued a letter of public Notice to the Ruling House (Ref. No. EOLG. 000153/Vol. III/.570) informing them that the Ogunyemi Ruling House, which was the next Ruling House according to the Declaration has been unable to present any candidate in respect of the vacant stool of the Oniru of Lagos in the Oniru Cheiftaincy and as such, in compliance with section 5 of the Declaration and 17(1)(c) of the Obas and chiefs Law of Lagos State 1981, which makes the Abisogun Ruling House the next entitled Ruling House, the Abisogun Ruling House of Oniru Royal Family is thereby called upon to produce candidate(s) to fill the vacant Stool.
”Therefore, it is clear by the provisions of section 5 and 11 of the Declaration and section 17(1) of the Obas and chiefs Law of Lagos State 1981, that it is Law that determines who fill the Stool of the Oniru of Lagos whenever it is vacant and thus it is practically impossible for any Ruling House to give another the right of rotation to occupy the stool as the law clearly recognizes and preserves the order of rotation through the principle of “Next Entitled”. Consequently, the claim by the Abisogun Ruling House that the Ogunyemi Ruling House conceded their chance to occupy the stool to the Akiogun Ruling House remains baseless,” he explained further.
Daramola said it was not true and is not expected of Abisogun Ruling House or any other person to mislead the people of Lagos State that the Ogunyemi Ruling House conceded their right to the Stool of Oniru of Lagos to the Akiogun Ruling House in 1993 when the Abisogun Ruling House are the next entitled after the Ogunyemi Ruling House by the provisions of the Declaration in the same way that the Declaration infers to the Ogunyemi Ruling House as the next entitled after the Akioguns based on the order of Rotation.
He said it was evident that by the public Notice (Ref. No. EOLG. 00153/Vol.III/76) issued to the Akiogun Ruling House by the Office of the Chairman of Eti-Osa Local Government Area on the 8th of November 1993, informing the Akiogun Ruling House of the failure of the Abisogun as the next entitled Ruling House to produce a candidate (and the further calling upon the Akioguns to produce a candidate in line with the Order of Rotation), it was the Abisogun Ruling House that conceded their right to the Stool of the Oniru of Lagos to the Akioguns in 1993.
”On the basis of the above, it is also clear that the historical antecedents relating to the emergence of the last two Onirus of Lagos have in no way altered the order of rotation as provided in section 2 of the declaration but rather complied with the order of rotation in compliance with the principle of next entitle.
”By the extant provision of section 2 of the declaration, it is very clear without any form of ambiguity that the Ogunyemi ruling house is the next entitled by law after the Akiogun ruling house (late Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru II) to produce the next Oba Oniru of Iru Land, Lagos state,” Daramola stated.
Also speaking, Chief Abayomi Daramola, Arobadade of Iru Land, said the Ogunyemi Ruling House all along wanted due process to take its course in the selection of the next oba, saying that the Family would only made its candidate for the throne known after the Eti-Osa LG would have written to the Ruling House to produce the next oba to the throne.