Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde is being sued by the Oyomesi in Council, often known as the kingmakers of Oyo town, for the empty throne of the Alaafin of Oyo.
In the Oyo State High Court in Oyo, a lawsuit with file number HOY/38/2023 seeks a court injunction to stop the governor and his representatives “from aborting the process for the selection or appointment of the candidate for filling the vacant stool of Alaafin of Oyo duly conducted by the kingmakers of Alaafin of Oyo Chieftaincy.” Five kingmakers are the plaintiffs.
The Bashorun of Oyo, Chief Yusuf Layinka; the Lagunna of Oyo, Chief Wakeel Oyedepo; the Akinniku of Oyo, Chief Amusa Yusuf; the Areago Bashorun, Chief Wahab Oyetunji; and the Alapo of Oyo, Chief Gbadebo Mufutau, are the kingmakers who brought the lawsuit.
The complaint names Makinde as a defendant in addition to the Oyo State Attorney General and the state’s Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
The kingmakers confirmed that during their September 30, 2023, meeting, they had decided unanimously to install Prince Lukuman Gbadegesin as the 45th Alaafin of Oyo and succeed Oba Lamidi Adeyemi in the storied stool. Since April of the previous year, the position had been vacant.
The governor of Oyo State and his operatives are attempting to nullify Gbadegesin’s election and “approve or recognize any other candidate” as the next Alaafin “after a duly conducted process for the filling of the vacant stool of Alaafin of Oyo in accordance with the native law, custom, and Chieftaincy Declaration of Alaafin of Oyo Chieftaincy,” according to the kingmakers’ plea to the court.
The kingmakers further ask the court to keep the governor and the other defendants from being removed from their position as Oyo kingmakers or from “dissolving the Oyomesi in Council or appointing or selecting warrant chiefs to conduct or start a fresh process for the filling of the vacant stool of Alaafin of Oyo.”
They seek the court to order the defendants to avoid “harassing, disturbing, preventing, or stopping the claimants from carrying on their traditional functions and responsibilities as kingmakers of Alaafin of Oyo Chieftaincy.”
According to The Punch, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission questioned a few Oyo kingmakers on October 18 in relation to bribery claims involving the next Alaafin nomination.
After learning that the petitioner had claimed the kingmakers had gathered millions of naira in bribes to favor a certain candidate, the EFCC made the decision to summon the kingmakers for questioning.
It was found that the kingmakers who accepted the EFCC’s invitation were accompanied by attorneys and had to sign formal consent forms before being allowed to leave.
High Chief Lamidi Oyewale, the Samu of Oyo town, confirmed getting the invitation from the EFCC after being contacted by The Punch. He said, “Yes, we were invited.” We’ve gone and come back.