By Tayo Ayanda
A Kwasra State High Court sitting in Ilorin, has affirmed the appointment of Oba Rafiu Ajiboye Oyelaran as the Oloro of Oroland, in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State.
The court, in a judgement delivered by Justice Sulyman Akanbi, held that the appointment of the traditional ruler by the state government was in line with the custom and tradition of the people of Oroland.
Justice Akanbi agreed with Oba Oyelaran’s claim that ascension to the stool of Oro upon a vacancy is by competition amongst the four ruling houses and not by rotation.
The court voided the claim of Prince Ganiyu Abolaji of Ile-Oba, Oke-Ola-Oro that the Kingmakers for the Oloro of Oro stool responsible for the selection and appointment of Oba Oyelaran were not properly constituted under native law and custom of Oroland.
The court also dismissed the claim of the Ile-Oba ruling house of Oke-Ola that ascension of Oloro stool is by rotation and not by competition.
The court held that by the showing of the claimant himself, “there is no proved merit in his case”.
Consequently, the court dismissed the suit in its entirety and affirmed the selection, appointment and approval of Oba Rafiu Olaniyi Ajiboye Oyelaran of Okerimi-Oro Ruling House as the Oloro of Oroland.
Prince Ganiyu Abolaji of Ile-Oba, Oke-Ola Oro had instituted suit with case number KWS/OM/4/2002 against the Chairman, Irepodun LGA, Igbomina/Ekiti Traditional Council, Commissioner of Chieftaincy Affairs, Attorney General of the State, the Governor of the State and the Seven Kingmakers of Oroland challenging the installation of Oba Oyelaran as Oloro in the year 2002.
Counsel to the defendants, Chief J.S. Bamigboye (SAN) had argued that the claimant case was replete with material contradictions on basic of facts such that it is completely robbed of iota of credibility.
Bamigboye (SAN) submitted the claimant cannot challenge the competence of the authority of the Kingmakers that candidates and their respective ruling houses including the claimant had earlier voluntarily submitted to.
“This case is based on native law and custom, which is required to be strictly proved, however, the evidence proffered by the claimant is so self-contradictory on all material facts and self-destructive that it lacks probative value”, Bamigboye added.
It will be recalled that the immediate past Oloro of Oro, Oba M.A. Ajiboye died in May, 2001.
Oroland comprises of nine towns because of their homogeneity arising from blood relationship through their root, Aremu Oyololawa, having one traditional ruler known as Oloro of Oro.
The four ruling houses that have the right to the Oloro stool are Affin-Oro, Okerimi-Oro, Agbeola-Oro and Oke-Ola Oro.