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Aree of Iree: Osun monarch kicks as anarchy looms



Army debunks allegation of land grabbing in Osun

The Aree of Iree, Oba Raphael Oluponle has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, the Oṣun State Commissioner of Police and other law enforcement agents in the state to intervene and prevent violence, breach of public peace and contempt of court.

Oba Oluponle’s plea is coming following steps taken by Boripe North local council development authority to start the selection process for a new monarch of Iree town.

The process is coming after a government White Paper released on January 19, 2024, nullified the selection process.

DAILY POST recalls that a government White Paper in January, 2024, had nullified all previous steps taken in relation to the installation of Aree of Iree.

According to the White Paper, “all inclusive selection process (es) for a new Aree of Iree, respectively, should commence immediately.

“Specifically on Aree of Iree Chieftaincy, the substantive chiefs are enjoined to withdraw their suit before the Court so as to allow for commencement of the selection process denovo in line with due process and tradition.”

In a letter by his counsel, Muideen Adeoye to the Osun State Commissioner of Police, dated February 24, 2024, Oba Oluponle informed the police that some individuals were initiating process of new selection of Aree of Iree land, which is criminal and likely to breach public peace and order as a result of pending case in court in respect of the subject matter.

He said such a move was an insult to the judiciary, rule of law and gross violation of the state government’s White Paper.

He said, “Up till date, the custodian of Aree of Iree instrument of appointment is Ọba Raphael Oluponle and up till date, no court of law has voided its issuance to the monarch by the government.

“And interestingly, the said White Paper has never directed the withdrawal of the instrument of appointment from the monarch, while the pending suit No HIK/39/2022 – Chief Olufemi Afolabi and four ors. Vs Governor of Oṣun and five others, has not been withdrawn till this moment of writing the petition.

“Surprisingly, in February 2024, some officers of this local government and others, including Hon Jamiu Adedokun Tunde, the local government Chairman, Hon Bamigbola Jide, the Secretary and Hon Dosu Babatunde, the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs among others suddenly commenced another process to install a new monarch in Iree, notwithstanding the pendency of the suit and without the withdrawal of instrument of appointment issued to the monarch by the same government.

“This action violates Section 21 (2) of the chiefs law of Osun State Cap 25, 2002., section 249 (D) of the criminal code act., section 518(1,6 and 7) of criminal code act., which states that any attempt to impunge on the authority of a custodian of instrument of appointment is criminal and liable to imprisonment and the same section empowers the security agencies to do the needful to prevent anarchy in the town.

“It is on this premise that we are urging the police and other security agents to enforce the law and order in respect of their constitutional responsibility, while our client will remain peaceful and law abiding, but the police have the responsibility to protect our laws and restore sanity in the area.”

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Boripe North local council development authority, Adedokun Jamiu when contacted by DAILY POST insisted on a physical presence before he could volunteer any information on the issue.

He also referred our correspondent to the State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

However, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Dosu Babatunde when contacted said he was aware of the development.

“I am aware of the development and the parties involved have withdrawn their cases in court,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ruling houses in Iree have objected to a fresh selection process for the throne of the Aree of Iree.

The ruling houses also described the decision of the Ademola Adeleke administration to order a new selection for the Aree of Iree stool as a contempt of court and gross violation of the government White Paper.

The ruling house stated that this was because of the inability of the parties to withdraw their case in court as a result of the ongoing Judiciary Staff Union, JUSUN strike.

They made their minds known in a letter signed by Michael Olaniyan, head of the Oyekun ruling house, Jimoh Ayiloye, head if Iyinhola ruling house and Sulaiman Olaniyan, elder, Olubonku family and addressed to the Chairman, Boripe North local council development authority and Head of Local Government Administration.

They also insisted that no process can commence without the withdrawal of the case in court.

In the letter dated February 13, 2024, and obtained by DAILY POST, the ruling houses informed the Council that they were not interested in any meeting with the government so as not to violate the law and government directive on the White Paper.

DAILY POST gathered that the Osun State Government and Boripe local council development authority has directed the Kingmakers in Iree community to go ahead with the selection of a new Aare of Iree on Thursday despite a pending case before Osun State High Court.

Credible sources within the local government also confirmed that the council after a meeting with the Iree ruling houses proceeded with the purchase of intention form by the interested candidates from ruling houses and has forwarded the list to the ministry which later approved it and directed fresh selection by the kingmakers.

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