DEPOSED OLUWADARE ADEPOJU ADESINA F
TO: THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL,
ONDO STATE GOVERNMENT
THRO: THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF ONDO STATE,
THRO: THE HONOURABLE ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND COMMISSIONER FOR JUSTICE,
MINISTRY OF JUSTICES,
APPEAL FOR VACATION OF ORDERS OF DEPOSITION AND BANISHMENT OF OLUWADARE ADEPOJU ADESINA FROM THE THRONE OF THE DEJI OF AKURE AND REINSTATEMENT TO THE THRONE
We have the instructions of Oluwadare Adepoju Adesina who was, on the 10th day of June 2010, deposed from his position as the Deji of Akure and subsequently banished by the Executive Council of Ondo State. The deposition and banishments are however still being contended in the court.
We have, in consonance with his instructions, reproduced herein under, the message qua passionate appeal of our client, in his words to your esteemed Council.
Sir, let me begin by, from the bottom of my heart, expressing my sincere condolence to your family, your good self, your esteemed Executive Council, the people of Ondo State and all indigenes of Akure in particular the death of Oba Adebiyi Adegboye Adesida, Afunbiowo Ii.
My condolence to the Executive Council and your good self is by no means misplaced: whilst it is the state State Executive Council that approves the appointment of an Oba Elect, you are in fact, the father figure to all Obas in the state.
I do honestly pray that the Almighty God will put an end to all mishaps in Ondo State, nay Nigeria.
Beyond sentiments, I admits that it hurts me quite greatly deeply when I was deposed and banished whilst Oba Adebiyi Adegboye Adesida was installed. I must however say that whoever had the privilege of knowing or meeting the then Prince Adebiyi Adegboye Adesida (that was who he was when I last saw him) would readily agree that he was, by all standards, a very good person who loved peace and related well with whoever came his way.
He loved Akure from his heart and always wished that there would be developments in Akure. He was also good to me and always respected me as a king even though by age, he was older than me.
May the good lord grant his soul eternal rest. Amen. I also pray that the Almighty God would grant his family his family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Sir, from my experience in this life particularly since my deposition and banishment, I have learnt a lesson that will stay with me forever: never mock a man who is down. God is the one who raises up and, if He wishes (for His own reasons), can bring down (Psalm 75 verse 7), How then can any mortal rejoice at the demise of another? No sane human should. Certainly, not me!!
I therefore do honestly pray that God will comfort his family particularly his dear olori who, by tradition, is also one of my wife.
Sir, even thought the sudden loss of the late Oba is painful, I however that it is important that I write this letter to your Excellency at this time. I have waited till now to show utmost respect to the late Oba. I could as well have waited further but for the fact that I have, on good authority, been informed of the attempts of some other persons who had actually started jostling up for the throne even before the conclusion of deserved and necessary rites of passage for the late Oba.
Thus, I therefore most humbly crave your understanding that this letter be allowed by you at this time as a matter of necessity.
I have, time and again, considered the tragic events that led to my exit from the throne and I have come to one conclusion: that Gorbels, not Hilter, was the reason Germany thought she was strong enough to conquer the World. Sir, I now know how important the press is. Communication and information management are issue I will never toy with again.
Why did I say Communication and information management? Because none of the things I was alleged to have done ever happened!
For the avoidance of doubt, I do not lay any blame at the door of any journalist but I admit that avoidable communication gap was the reason why the press could not even report a single account of the version of the palace at that material time. Again, a admit that this communication gap was avoidable.
May I humbly seek your indulgence to respond to some of the issues raised against my person in the media/public that ultimately led to my deposition and banishment:
Did I go to Hospital Road? Yes I did because it was a house I had rented before I mounted the throne . I kept the house and still paid for same while on the throne because some members of my family still lived there. Where then, for example did press get information that the house I went to belonged to my in-laws?
I also read in the newspaper that I poured acid on my wife: to begin with, how could someone I allegedly poured acid on in the evening of 30th day of May, 2010 now go out just a few days thereafter to plead with different Obas, Chiefs and leaders that her husband should be reinstated? It may interest you to note that she went about asking that I be reinstated whilst fully dressed as an Olori i.e without buba on top of her Iro. There were no bruises on her.
Sir, it may further interest you to know that when my late wife, who was allegedly bathed with acid got to the palace of the jegun of Ile-Oluji, the jegun said he had read about all that happened in the print media and said he hoped the Olori had fully recovered. It was at this stage that the jegun was told that the beautiful Lady dressed in Iro, with beads round her neck but without buba top and who accompanied the emissary to his palace was indeed the Olori that was allegedly bathed in acid! Thee jegun quickly drew the Olori to his side and searched for the spots where she was allegedly bathed with acid but did not find any!!
The other Obas who saw her soon after she was allegedly bathed with acid were the Olugbo of Ugbo Land and the Olukare of Ikare. The mother to Your Excellency also saw her at Ondo town when she came to beg her to plead with Your Excellency.
Above all, the families concerned have since reconciled their differences.
Moreover, I also read from the dailies that I fell into the gutter and had to be rescued. This was outright falsehood. Firstly, up to this point, three years after the incident, even with modern technology, phone, camera and other means of communication, is it not strange that there has not been one single documented account of this fact? Why is it that none of the media houses in this country ever showed or got this printed out! I came downstairs from the building and stayed in my car at the time my late wife was allegedly bathed with acid.
I also read it in the papers that I poured hot ashes which I brought in nylon bag on her. Sir, is it not strange that hot ashes was brought in a nylon bag? Why did the nylon not melt? Besides, is not elementary traditional science that if you pour ashes, it will undoubtedly be blown towards you (the pourer). That is why it is said in Yoruba land that “eni deeru ni eeru n to”. Why was I not affected by the ashes myself since I was the one that allegedly poured it? Why was any other person not affected since, by the media accounts, the environment was rowdy and full of people?
For the avoidance of doubt, I married my late Olori Bola Adepoju Adesida traditionally. I also needed to divorce her for reasons due largely to some serious and irreconcilable family differences. Even though it is good for the married tostay together for better or worst, it is however my believe that where certain acts of one of the spouses is consistently dangerous to the life of the other , it is betterto divorce and stay alive than to pretend to be married but in it.
Sir, you are a good man. You will kindly pardon me to respect and honour the memory of the late Olori by refusing to disclose, in details, through this medium, all that my late wife did that necessitated the divorce. Besides because of the future of my children from the late Olori, I most humbly plead that you will further pardon me from going further than this through this medium. At any rate, some of the reasons for the divorce are not unknown to Your Excellence.
On the issue of engaging in shady land deals: I wish to place it on record that I never instructed anyone to collect “royalty” on my behalf from any land owner. No one ever came to inform me that he wanted to check if it was true that I actually sent anyone to collect “owo omo onile” from him. It is worthy of note that the only known account/record of the use of my name to collect “owo omo onile” is at the ‘A’ division in Akure where the culprit, one Mr. Gbenle Kikiowo who made an undertaking not to use my name again for such fraudulent activities when, upon a tip-off, I got him arrested and took him to ‘A’ division , Akure. Why the police never prosecuted him up till now, I do not know because I personally reported himto the police when I got information that he used my name to “owo omo onile”.
On the issue Of engaging in a public fight with Chief Jossy Abegunde, I deny firmly that I fought with him.
Conversely, the issue between Chief Jossy Abegunde and I had to do with the ownership of a large parcel of land belonging to Akure Community which was turned to a plank market by the Police Authorities. Sir, you will agree with me that the Police Authorities to not have any constitutional or statutory responsibility tooperate plank markets. The police Plank Market beside St. Luke Anglican Church, Idi Agba, Akure is indeed the first of its kind.
Your Excellency, it is also my believe that an important function of Obaship is the protection of the common heritage of the Oba’s domain. Thus, I believe I did the right thing by instituting an action against the Police Authorities in respect of the disputed parcel of land. That was all I did. It is worthy of note that in the suit I instituted against the Police Authorities on the disputed land, it was done with the active consent and participation of Akure Council of Chiefs.
The Chiefs were also co-plaintiffs in the said suit against the Police. The Chiefs even agreed to contribute money for the payment of our lawyer’s professional charges.
Moreover, even the late Oba Adegboye Adesida was reputed to have continued with the litigation on the disputed land.
At any rate, it is important to inform Your Excellency that Chief Jossy Abegunde and I have since reconciled our differences. We both later understood that both of us wanted what was in the best interest of Akure on the disputed land but our approaches were different.
On the disagreement between the Chiefs and the Palace. To begin with, I never had any disagreement with either the Akure Council of Chiefs as a whole or the Kingmakers alone. The seeming disagreement I had with the Chiefs was on the payment of “igbanujo” Your Excellency “igbanujo” is the money I was obliged togive the Chiefs as whole for their entertainment upon my emergence as an Oba elect.
Sir, due to obvious financial constraints, as a result of the various expenses I incurred at the time of contesting the throne and thereafter, I could not immediately raise the sum of N5million meant for the “igbanujo”.
However, I later paid the “igbanujo” money after I ascended the throne.
Thus, it is important to state categorically that the “igbanujo” money was not money collected or paid for any illegal or fraudulent purpose. All the Chiefs of Akure can attest to this fact. The payment is just a traditional way by which any Oba-elect fetes all the Chiefs. This is a tradition in Akure that I am sure that even Oba Adebiyi Adegboye Adesida honored.
Sir, I daresay that all the Chiefs of Akure can attest to these facts.
On the Lisa of Akure: My disagreement with High Chief Folorunso David, the then Lisa of Akure started when, after I had become the Deji of Akure, the Lisa wrote a letter to the Ondo State Government on his own letter headed paper requesting that the Olu of Ala be made an Oba.
The then Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Otunba Omolade Oluwateru sent a copy of the letter to me after which I invited Akure Council of Chiefs and the Lisa himself to the Palace on the issue.
On the advice of the Council of Chiefs, I set up a committee which investigated the circumstances warranting the letter by the Lisa to State Government. Even though I was not opposed to the upgrading of any person to the status of an Oba where deserving, the councils of Chiefs, and the committee set up found the Lisa’s conduct to be capable of understanding the throne of the Deji fo Akure indigenes, Thus, the committee recommended that the Lisa be suspended for six months. The Lisa was thus suspended on the recommendation of the significance of his Chieftaincy title amongst the Chiefs, his suspension was subsequently lifted. It is noteworthy that recommended the suspension mianly compromised Akure Chiefs.
The second cause of the disagreement I had with the then Lisa also occurred when the Lisa, wrote a petitioned against me to our respected Akure and Yoruba leader, Chief Fashoranti. The Lisa wrongly alleged that I supported memebrs of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) who were pro- Labour Party against those who were pro- PDP. He further alleged that I went toErekesan came to inspect the market for possible reconstruction. There were about twenty other false allegations in the said petitioned to Chief Fashoranti.
I also got a copy of the Petition, I also called a meeting of Councils of Chiefs where I showed the petitioned which was written on the letter headed paper of Akure Council of Chiefs. The Chiefs denied knowledge of this letter but the Lisa said the then Elemo High Chief (Barr.) Bolanle Adedipe and the Ojomo of Akure High Chief Ayo Oluyide were privies to the petition.
The Chiefs with the exception of the Lisa, Elemo and Ojomu collectively denied being parties to and/or being aware of the petition written on their behalf.
Consequently, the Council of Chief decided that they were fed up with the handedness of the Lisa moreso since the Lisa had taken such a grave decision tothe names without actually informing them of his actions.
Thus, the chiefs recommended that High Chiefs Elemo and Ojomu should be queried. The two High Chiefs were duly queried by me but I also applied wisdom by refusing to take any further step in the matter with or without their responses tothe queries. As a matter of fact, even though the two Chiefs did not respond to the queries I never raised the issue again since, by their actions and oral explanations, they were not parties to any attempt to spite the throne of the Deji or smear my name/image.
On the Lisa however, since there was no sense of remorse, the Chiefs went tomy secretary’s office, typed a letter of removal of the Lisa and brought it to me for signing the letter of removal of Folorunsho Davids as the Lisa of Akure.
Thus, even though High Chief Folorunso Davids was removed by a letter signed by me his removal was however the majority decision of the members of Akure Councils of Chiefs.
Sir, my seeing refusal to reinstate High Chief Folorunso Davids was by no means an act of disrespect but I feared the serious consequences of reneging on the Oath made with the Chiefs on the issue. The breach of oaths in traditional institutions attracts dire consequences even if the ‘oath’ is a mere oral agreement.
Your Excellency may wish to aks: Why was it that even after my deposition and banishments. The late Oba Adebiyi Adegboye Adesida, Afunbiowo !! refuse toreinstate the said Folorunso Davids but refused to reinstate the said Folorunso Davids but chose to appoint another illustrates son of Akure in the person of High Chief (Engineer) James Raymond Olusoga as the new Lisa of Akure? The reasons that prevailed at that time were also why the late Oba Adebiyi Adegboye Adesida could not reinstate the Lisa.
Sir, suffice it to say that notwithstanding the difference in our actions, approaches and believes, my respect and admiration for the person of the Lisa ever waned, Rather, I always respected him. He was always very bold, daring, courageous and dogged. These were the unassailable good qualities I liked in him-evidence of his distinguished career in the Nigerian Army.
It was the extreme application of these virtues however that caused a misunderstanding between us.
Sir, even though he also partook in the process of my removal by signing petitioned against me in his capacity as the Lisa (despite his removal without a challenge in the law court) I have also completely forgiven him. I hold no grudges against him whatsoever.
Consequent upon the above, I do honestly plead with your good self and the other members of your Executive Council to kindly rescind your decision on my deposition and banishments and to reinstate me back to my position as the Deji Akure.
Sir, I knew but I have also been further educated by my team of lawyers that legally and lawfully, your esteemed Executive Councils can still reinstate me. Some of the clarifications I got from my lawyers which make it possible for the council to reinstate me include but are not limited to the following factors.
Sources of Deposition and Banishment: That since I was not removed by any court of law, it does not require on appeal to any Higher Court to reinstate me. Moreso, going by the principle of Federation, the Ondo State Executive Council is not subject to any other Executive Council in matters within the exclusive determination of the Ondo State Executive Council. Mine is one of such cases.
ii. The Deji of Akure Chieftaincy Declaration: By the Deji of Akure Chieftaincy Declaration there are two Ruling Houses which are: Ojijigogun Ruling House and the Osupa Ruling Houses. Since the late Oba Adebiyi Adegboye Adesida was from Ojijigogun Ruling House which makes it a lot easier for me to coma back tothe throne now. Since I was deposed by the decision of the Executive Council, the same Executive Council can still reinstate me by rescinding vacating it decision.
iii. Cases in Court: That notwithstanding the existence of the case(s) I instituted in court, since I am the Plaintiff in those cases, the life and death of those cases depend solely on me. Thus, it means that the cases cannot constitute any legal impediment if withdrawn the cases.
Very important too, Courts and Judges also support out-of-Court resolution of disputes even after the parties have already filed their cases in court.
iv. Statutory power to act: That from the entirely of the law books and statutes, there is no law forbidding my reinstatement by your esteemed Council. The powers to approve of an appointment as an Oba, depose, banish, reinstate, reprimand and/or reward an Oba all reside in you and your Executive Council, Sir.
V. History: That there are recorded accounts of Obas that were deposed and later reinstated: a most recent one in this state was that of the revered Olowo of Owo the late Oba Olateru Olagbegi during tha administration of Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua. Your Excellency, as the then Honorable Commissioner for health, was a part of the Executive Council that reinstated the late Oba Olateru Olagbegi after his deposition and banishment for more than a decade. The Saki of Arigidi was also reinstated after having been deposed. There are other documented instances from other states.
vi. Conspiracy of my enemies: Your Excellency, you will recall that I had, first above referred to mine as well as your enemies and political detractors. This is for real. It is not a conjecture. Or, if it were not so, why would the Police decline toprosecute someone who I personally reported as using my name to extort money from members of the public? Also, it is on record that I was deposed on 10/06/2010. It is also on record that I was, immediately after deposition, arrested and taken to the state Police Headquarters in Akure where I made statement tothe Police in the evening of 10/06/2010. Where and how then could the Police have prepared a ‘’report” dated 07/06/2010 incorporated my statement and sent same to your good self for the purpose of engineering my deposition? Why did the Police Authorities cook up a report against me three days before I was arrested before they got one single account of what happened from me? Besides, how could a “report” dated 07/06/20
Sir, it is worthy of note that even after the death of my late wife and contrary tothe clear contents of the medical reports of the cause of death of my late wife, the Police Authorities repeatedly invited members of my late wife’s family and expressly persuaded them to incriminate me by saying that my wife died as a result of the alleged incident of 30/05/2010. My in-laws clearly declined toimplicate me and started clearly that medical examinations showed the true cause of her death and that I did not kill her.
Sir, I have waited patiently for years before pointing out these despicable conducts of the Police Authorities because I always knew that the truth would prevailed someday. Moreover, I was scared that if I pointed these out I could as well be permanently silenced by my detractors. However, the general elections of 2011 swept these enemies of mine out of power and political relevance. Only truth and justice remain constant forever.
Sir, considering the unjust, false and fabricated reports presented by the Police Authorities to your Executive Council which were instigated by these power-hungry politicians who are now men of yesterday. I humbly seek your kindheated intervention towards reserving the injustices done to me by revoking and/or vacating the orders of my deposition and banishments. I also pray that you do kindly allow me to return to the throne of my fathers as the Deji of Akure.
Your Excellency, I do not claim to be a lawyer. I do not also claim that I was a saint. I am a new and improved person. I tasted the good side of life. I now taste the bad side of life. I had fame. I later had shame. I knew glory. I later knew fury. I knew and tasted honour. I have also been brought down to earth. I fell from graceto grass. I have cried many times. I have told myself that even though most of the things I did were good, well- intended and with the support of my chiefs, I have also known that whatever happened to me , I do not put the blame on anyone. I do accept that there are always better ways to do even the good things I did.
Sir, I do honestly, appreciate the fact that with the attendant public perception of all the things I did not do, with the politicisation of what I did not do by my detractors and the enemies of your regime, here was no practicable way your council could delay to act without being seen as condoning what my detractors alleged that I did.
However, I always wished that if only the council had heard the full side of my own story, then esteemed council’s decision would have been different.
Sir from the bottom of my heart, I hold no grudges against my chiefs. I forgive them. As a matter of fact throughout my travails, I appreciate all the support I got from them. I also have to be realistic that with my deposition, Akure needed tomove on. In mkoving on however, justices and truth are all I ask for. Again, I forgive all of them from the depth of my heart because without them, there cannot be a Me.
Your Excellence, even though I never had the opportunity of expressing my own side of the story to the media by virtue of my position as an Oba and further because of the prevailing circumstances at the time and, admittedly, my mishandling of the communication and information Bureau, I honestly owe the Executive Council and the entire people of Akure the duty to make them understand that I never fought with my wife, never poured acid or any other substances on her and did not at any time fight in public.
Sir, I wish to favour in your eyes and in the eyes of all the other members of you council. I promise to work for the collective ideas of the entire people of akure andto actively mobile my people towards the maximum participation in your regime’s laudable programmes.
Sir, without engaging in undue historical renditions and rhetoric, I must passionately plead with your Excellence to remember how well I stood behind you and fought with you towards ensuring that you won the election and to ensure that you also recovered your stolen mandate.
Sir, I stood by you through thick and thin even when most people in my position could not publicly support you. I whole heartedly supported you because I believed in you. I saw in you a man of his words who meant well for the people. I still believe in you, your Excellence. Kindly vacate my deposition and banishment orders.
For the avoidance of doubt, in the likely event that you and your honoured Council do graciously vacate and/or rescind the orders of my deposition and banishment, I do promised you and the good people of Akure.
I. That I will not witch-hunt or persecute anyone (particularly my chiefs) for their actions or inaction at the time of my deposition and banishment;
ii. To withdraw all suits and litigations against your esteemed self and government;
iii. Not to institute any further action against either your good self or any of my Chiefs in respect of any matter connected or relating to the circumstances of my deposition and banishment;
iv. To exhibit improved, matured and better approach in the discharge of my duties as the Oba of Akure;
v. To relate more harmoniously with all Chiefs, Community leaders, indigenes and non- indigenes of Akure;
vi. To institute a foundation in honour of my late wife, Olori Bolanle Adesina Adepoju;
vii. The exhibit total loyalty to your regime and all other regimes that may come upon the successful completion of your well-deserved second term;
viii. To govern my people with godliness and with total respect for the rights of all;
ix. Above all, I forgive all.
Your Excellence, I know that any request is huge that I equally know that same is grantable. You are a father figure. You are kindly, with your Executive Council, vacate and/or rescind the orders of my disposition and banishments and reinstate me to my position as the Deji of Akure.
I thank you must sincerely for this privilege and I count on Excellency and Executive Council to grant my requests by reinstating me as the Deji of Akure.
Sir, I have instructed my lawyer to write this letter to you as evidence of my total commitment to the contents of this letter But with a clear instruction that it must be in the same and undiluted way I have written it by incorporating same in the body of his own letter”.
Your Excellency, the above represents the message from our client to you and your Executive Council in his own language.
May it so please you, Sirs.
We look forward to receiving a favourable response from you, Sir.
1. The Deputy Governor of Ondo State,
The Deputy Governor’s Office.
2. The Right Honourable Speaker,
Ondo State House of Assembly Complex,
3. The Honourable Chief Judge,
Ondo State High Court Complex,
4. The Hon. Commissioner,
For local government and Chieftancy Affairs
Ondo State Secretariat,
5. Akure Council of Chiefs,
c/o High Chief Lisa of Akure,
Chief Engineer James Raymond Olusoga.
6. Chief R. F Fasoranti,
Community Leader & Chairman,
Akure Community Development Forum.
7. Prince (Dr.) Ige Adedipe Ogunleye,
Chairman Osupa Ruling House,