An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan on Friday declared the judicial commission of inquiry set up by Gov. Abiola Ajimobi to review the 1957 Chieftaincy Declaration of Ibadanland as unconstitutional, illegal and of no effect.
A cross-section of promoted Ibadan High Chiefs to Obas at their coronation and presentation of staff of office by Gov. Abiola Ajimobi in Ibadan on Sunday (27/8/17).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Ajimobi had on May 19, 2017, set up the commission headed by retired Justice Akintunde Boade to review the 1957 chieftaincy declaration and other related chieftaincies in Ibadan.
The commission, NAN further reports, had submitted its report to the governor on Aug. 18, 2017 recommending 32 beaded-crown Obas in Ibadan while the Olubadan would remain as paramount ruler of Ibadanland.
But former governor of the state and Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, Sen. Rashidi Ladoja, had dragged Ajimobi and Boade to court, claiming that the composition of the committee would affect his ambition of becoming the Olubadan.
Delivering judgment, Justice Olajumoke Aiki, said Sections 10,12 and 25 of the Oyo State Chiefs Law do not empower the governor to set up the committee.
Aiki also said that the governor cannot delegate power on what he does not possess.
“ Wearing of beaded crown is outside Sections 10, 12 and 25 of the Oyo State Chiefs Law.
“ The procedures of part 2 and 3 of the Oyo State Chiefs Law under Sections 10,12 and 25 do not empower the governor to set up any commission of inquiry to review the 1957 Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration.
“ All powers, be it legislative or judicial, must be traced to the validity of the constitution.
“ The governor of Oyo State exercised his power outside the power conferred on him by the chiefs law and I declare the exercise as unconstitutional and illegal,’’ the judge said.
Aiki restrained the governor from accepting and implementing the report of the committee.
Counsel to Ajimobi, Mr Nurudeen Adegboye, told NAN after the court session that the decision to appeal the judgment rests with his client.
But counsel to Ladoja, Mr Babatunde Akinola, commended the judge, saying the judgment was well delivered.