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Obaship tussle: Akiolu appears in court, says ‘I still remain Oba of Lagos’

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Obaship tussle: Akiolu appears in court, says ‘I still remain Oba of Lagos’

Oba Akiolu of Lagos State

The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, on Tuesday, reinstated that he is the rightful Oba of Lagos State.

The Oba, who took to the witness box before Justice S.B Candide Johnson of Ikeja High Court maintained that he is a descendant of the Akiolu Royal Family.

Joined as respondents in the suit are the state governor, the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Prince Awobade Pearse, a representative of the Ologun Kutere Ruling House and Chief J.J. Junaid Eko, the head of the traditional white cap chiefs of Lagos.

Two Princes, Sammy Adebiyi and Rasheed Modile had dragged the Oba to court contesting his eligibility to contest kingship after the death of Oba Oyekan.

Their arguments bordered on claims that Oba Akiolu is not a descendant of the Akiolu Royal Family as his earlier documents read “Rilwan Akinolu” as opposed to Akiolu.

They also stated that he flouted the rule which stated that 90 days must elapse between the death of an Oba and the installation of another.

In Oba Akiolu’s defense, he made it known that his father was Alhaji Tajudeen Akiolu and that his brothers had opted to bear “Akinolu” at their own will but he was an Akiolu. He also stated that of all 21 past Obas before him, six had been installed before 90 days and one even had been installed a day after an Oba’s death.

In his arguments, the claimant’s counsel, Ilori Abiodun (SAN), averred that Oba Akiolu could not clearly state the birth position of Akiolu in the Ologunkuntere’s household but was able to state the birth positions of Esilokun, Olusi and Akintoye.

Abiodun also tendered a letter written by the Akiolu Royal House to the kingmakers on the 21st April, 2003, which also failed to mention the exact birth position of Akiolu.

In Oba Rilwan’s response, he told the court that he didn’t work in a birth and death registry and was not around when Akiolu was born so he could not tell the exact birth position.

Ilori also averred that the crowning of Oba Akioku was clouded in irregularities, adding that as of the time Oba’s crowning  in 2003, there was no Chief Eleto-Ejigbo as there was a matter in court at the time which involved the then chief.

The Claimant’s Counsel also  went further to provide a book, “Cultural Perspectives of Lagos” in which a picture showed that the controversial capping of one Oba Adeniji in 1949 by one Gafar Onimole was actually done by an Eleto-Ejigbo, to which the Oba replied that he wrote the book’s foreword where he stated that not everything depicted in that book was true.

Justice Candide Johnson adjourned till the 5th, 6th and 11th of July, 2017 for continuation of cross examination.

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