Lekan Balogun and other members of the Olubadan-in-Council who were crowned Obas in 2017 have written to their lawyer, Kunle Sobaloju, to withdraw their case challenging a consent judgment on their elevation from high chiefs to Obaship status.
This directive was contained in a letter dated January 30 with names and titles of the affected high chiefs listed as clients.
A copy of the letter obtained in Ibadan was titled, ‘Re: Oba Senator Lekan Balogun & others vs Governor of Oyo State and others’.
In the letter, the kingmakers instructed their lawyer to “discontinue and withdraw” the case with immediate effect.
Part of the letter read, “We are your client in the above suit No: 1/22/2020/. After careful and painstaking consideration of the lingering crisis trailing the succession of the throne of our new Olubadan of Ibadan land, we resolved as follows:
“That the peace of Ibadan land is paramount in our hearts and as such no sacrifice is too much to be made to achieve the same.
“That we as kingmakers and members of Olubadan-in-Council have decided to withdraw our above-mentioned suit in High Court of Justice of Oyo State, Ibadan with immediate effect.
“That future reforms or reviews to the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration of 1957 should be kept in view, for now, to be addressed during the tenure of our new Olubadan of Ibadan.
“In view of the above, we as your clients are now instructing you to discontinue the above suit and withdraw same forthwith from the court of law of Oyo State and file a notice of withdrawal in court latest February 1, 2022, without failure.”
Controversies had surrounded the nomination, appointment, approval, and announcement of Oba Lekan Balogun, who is the next in line to the throne, as the new Olubadan.
In a bid for Lekan to be appointed, Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, asked the kingmakers to discontinue the case
The High Chiefs – promoted Obas – are in court to challenge the consent judgment which set aside the gazette that recognised them as Obas.
Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, had sued former Governor Abiola Ajimobi and the inquiry commission that recommended the high chiefs for crowning the high chiefs, arguing that they violated the 1957 Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration.
Ladoja won at the state High Court as Justice Olajumoke Aiki set aside the gazette as well as the decisions made based on it.
But dissatisfied with the judgment, Ajimobi appealed.
The Appellate Court, in its decision, set aside Aiki’s decision on technical grounds and directed a retrial of the case.
Makinde, who inherited the case, called for an out-of-court settlement and a return to the status quo.
The terms of the settlement were entered as consent judgment by the court, putting a closure on the matter.
But Balogun and others later expressed displeasure and filed a fresh suit against the judgment.
It was learnt a new Olubadan should have been named after Oba Saliu Adetunji passed away on January 2, 2022.