The emergence and subsequent installation of Oba Julius Omomo, as the new Olojoda of Oda was done in strict compliance with the Nigerian constitution and laid down traditional procedures, a chief in the community has declared.
The stool of the Olojoda of Oda, in the Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State became vacant in 2016, after the demise of Oba Bamidele Akosile, and all attempts to fill it for over six years were thwarted by litigation.
Succour eventually came for the community in January 2023, when the Appeal Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital affirmed the judgment of the High Court and ruled that Julius Omomo was validly elected by the Kingmakers as the Olojoda-elect, leading to his subsequent installation in May 2023, as the new Olojoda of Oda.
Reacting to a media report that there was an existing court order barring the installation of new Olojoda, Chief Emmanuel Adelakun, a member of the Royal family who doubles as the spokesperson of the Oba, refuted claims surrounding the selection process and installation of the Olojoda of Oda, Oba Julius Omomo.
While insisting that there was no court injunction stopping the installation of the monarch, Adelakun said if there were any, the state government led by Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), who is a senior counsel, would have earlier halted the installation move by the community.
The Oda chief stated this on Friday in an exclusive interview in Akure.
Adelakun, who argued that the traditional ruler was duly elected by the Kingmakers, faulted the media report, saying it was orchestrated by those contending the stool with Julius Omomo.
According to him: “ majority of the kingmakers elected Prince Julius Ajayi Omomo as the Olojoda-elect. It was done at the time the local government threw it to the kingmakers. Four contestants were in the race, and none of them was ready to step down, so election had to be conducted.
“And we have 13 Kingmakers duly representing the community who voted during the process. The present Kabiyesi had eight (8) votes, while Prince Sunday Ademukola who is challenging the installation of Oba Omomo, scored three (3) votes. And the remaining two contestants got one vote each.
“The kingmakers wrote a letter of appointment on 26th of December, 2016, to the Olojoda-elect and he in due return, two days later gave letter of acceptance.
“We were about commencing the rites when they went to the High Court to stop the rites. All of us went to court. Two years later, court decided and the present Olojoda was declared winner of that election. As we were about to proceed, they went to the Court of Appeal, and a stay of execution was served on us.”
Adelakun added that: “after another two years of sittings, Appeal Court ruled on the 27th of January, 2023 affirming the judgment of the High Court. And since no court action followed, we wrote to the Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to give us staff of office.
“In May 2023, the state government approved the appointment of Oba Julius Omomo. We believe His Excellency is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and the Attorney General is a lawyer too. Both of them are law abiding citizens. These people that are now raising unnecessary dust never presented their grouse to the government. Infact, the Palace did not receive any stay of execution. Afterwards, the Kabiyesi was given Staff of Office and Certificate of Appointment.
“It was a while after the installation they now brought a letter insinuating that there is a subsisting stay of execution. But believe you me, there is nothing like that. The installation was done in May, they brought the letter June.
“The allegations by one Prince Sunday Omosebi who declared himself as the head of the family is not true. As a Royal family, the present Kabiyesi is the eldest person, and the position of Olori ebi is not transferable. Sunday Omosebi is just one of the sons of late Ajike who was the former Olori ebi during his lifetime.