FRESH facts have emerged on how some officials of the State Government of Osun manipulated six of the seven kingmakers who are responsible for the selection and presentation of the new Akinrun of Ikirun.
Investigations by OSUN DEFENDER revealed that the Commissioner I of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Chief Moshood Oluawo, popularly known as Mosadek is the architect of the manipulation process.
The medium gathered that Oluawo who is a strong member of IleriOluwa Apex body, co-opted other government officials, among who are the lawmaker representing Ifelodun Constituency in the House of Assembly, Hon. Mulikat Abiola, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Adeleke Adebayo, Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Rasaq Adeosun, Caretaker Chairman of Ifelodun Local Government, Mr Hassan Okanlawon into supporting his favourite candidate, Prince Yunus Olalekan Akadiri for the Akinrun stool.
Findings revealed that the government officials contacted the kingmakers with the support of the Elemo Aga of Ikinrun, Chief Bamidele Onifade.
According to OSUN DEFENDER’s investigations, the six kingmakers are: Rasheed Raji Diekola Toogun (Odofin); Atoyebi Oluwole (Ojomu); Oseni Agboola (Olukotun); Sulaiman Olaore (Oluawo Onifa); Raheem Okunlola (Jagun) and Murtala Azeez (Oba’ale), who represented Mr. Raheem Adebayo (Baale Oke’ba).
The kingmakers were conveyed to Osogbo in an unregistered white bus on Thursday, November 18, 2021. They were first taken to the Government House on the pretence that Oyetola wanted to meet them. They were welcomed to the State House by Oluawo, after which they were later taken to a hotel by the roadside along Ilobu road, Agunbelewo, Osogbo.
At the hotel, the Commissioner and Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government addressed the kingmakers, asking them to ‘work for the governor’s interest’ with a promise that they would be rewarded handsomely, according to Chief Olukotun in a recorded phone conversation with one of his relatives.
The government officials told the kingmakers that Governor Adegboyega Oyetola was interested in the candidature of Akadiri who is from Obaara Ruling House as the new Akinrun.
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the Eesa of Ikirun, Chief Lawal Adetoyese who is the Chairman of the kingmakers was deliberately left out of the deal because he was already supporting Prince Ismail Olasunkanmi Adeyemi who is also from Obaara Ruling House.
At the meeting, the kingmakers were tutored on the voting process that would produce Akadiri. They reportedly signed a paper in favour of Akadiri during the meeting with a promise that they would be given N2.5m each.
According to findings, the kingmakers slept in the hotel on Thursday and were taken to Ifelodun Local Government Council Secretariat around 4pm on Friday, November 19, 2021.
It was gathered that the caretaker chairman of the local government, Mr. Hassan Okanlawon called Adetoyese, the Eesa of Ikirun on phone, informing him that there was a meeting to be held at 2pm.
Adetoyese, according to sources in the council, arrived the secretariat few minutes to 3pm and waited till around 4pm when the six lawmakers were brought to the council.
After their arrival, the council chairman and other officials of the local government, informed everyone at the meeting that an election was going to hold for the selection of the new Akinrun and that Akadiri and Adeyemi were the nominated candidates from Obaara ruling house.
As planned, the six kingmakers voted for Akadiri while the Eesa voted for Adeyemi.
Akadiri’s name was announced as the Akinrun-elect and his name was forwarded to the Ministry of Local Government for installation.
The six kingmakers were thereafter returned to the hotel in Osogbo where they spent another three days.
However, Akadiri’s selection was rejected by stakeholders and indigenes of Ikirun, particularly princes and princesses from Gboleru Ruling House which is originally supposed to produce the new Akinrun.
Oyetola Refuses To Install Controversial Candidate
The controversial selection was done by the government officials with a belief that Oyetola would ratify it and order the installation of Akadiri as the new Akinrun, the following Monday, November 22, 2021.
But Oyetola was out of the state and did not return till Wednesday, November 24, as gathered.
OSUN DEFENDER learnt that the government officials solicited the support of Prof. Olu Aina, who is a friend to Oyetola, asking him to talk to the governor on the need to accept Akadiri’s candidature as the new Akinrun.
Aina reportedly turned down their request on the ground that there was no need to put pressure on Oyetola on the new Akinrun.
Upon his return, Oyetola reportedly declared that he did not send anybody to shop for candidate for Akinrun’s throne, neither did he has an anointed candidate.
The governor was said to have frowned at the manipulation of the selection process by the officials.
Oyetola’s rejection of the manipulation process doused the tension in Ikirun as aggrieved people believed that the governor would allow due process to take its cause.
Both Adebayo and Oluawo did not respond to enquiry made by this medium on their alleged involvement in the matter, while other mentioned could not be reach on phone.
This was followed by an injunction of a State High Court on Thursday, November 25, 2021, restraining the Obaara and Adedeji Ruling Houses from nominating candidates for the Akinrun throne, just like the kingmakers, local and state governments were also barred from accepting candidate from the ruling houses.
According to the gazette, Gboleru ruling house was to produce the new Akinrun after the demise of Oba Abdulrauf Olawale who was from Adedeji ruling house.
But some people from Adedeji ruling house argued that the late Akinrun belonged to the matriarchal side of the ruling house and should not have been considered for the throne in the first place.
Based on that argument, the aggrieved people said Adedeji should be allowed to produce the new Akinrun before Gboleru Ruling House.
In a suit registered HIK/9/2021, Prince Wahab Amoo and two other people from Adedeji Ruling House, asked the court to nullify the nomination and appointment of late Oba Olawale and also rule that their ruling house be allowed to present candidate for the throne.
In its ruling on November 5, 2021, Justice Jide Falola of the Ikirun High Court, held that the case was belated, maintaining that Adedeji Ruling House had taken its turn in producing Akinrun and it is now the turn of others to do same.
Falola also stated that Gboleru ruling house should produce the next Akinrun, just as he advised members of the ruling house to nominate one person to be appointed for the kingmakers.
The judge gave a 14-day ultimatum for the Gboleru ruling house to produce candidate for the Akinrun stool, failure of which Obaara ruling house would be allowed to make nomination for the throne.
But Gboleru ruling house was unable to meet up with the ultimatum as more than seven candidates were contesting the throne.
After the expiration of the ultimatum, the kingmakers approached Obaara ruling house for the nomination of candidate for the Akinrun throne.
Until November 19, Prince Ismail Olasunkanmi Adeyemi was said to be the only candidate from Obaara ruling house.
It was even alleged that the judgment of the court was made to favour Adeyemi’s emergence as the new Akinrun.
But Adeyemi was outsmarted by the Ekerin of Ikirun who allegedly raised a new candidate and manipulated the kingmakers for his own candidate.
We stand by the choice of Akadiri as Akinrun-elect- High Chief
The Elemo Aga of Ikirun, High Chief Bamidele Onifade denied the report that the kingmakers in Ikirun were influenced to select Akadiri as the Akinrun-elect.
Onifade also said the kingmakers stand by Akadiri’s choice, saying he remains their choice, having won the majority of votes during an election held by the kingmakers under the supervision of officials of Ifelodun Local Government.
The High Chief who spoke with newsmen on Tuesday said Akadiri’s nomination followed due process and all traditional rites leading to the selection of an Akinrun.
Onifade who is also the Oluomo of Ikirun said no government official or political office holder influenced any of the kingmakers, stressing that the choice of Akadiri was as a result of Ifa divinity.
He said the Kingmakers are not ready to succumb to any threat from any quarter regarding the selection process.
He therefore urged the state government to expedite action on the appointment and inauguration of Akadiri as the Akinrun of Ikirun in the interest of peace and harmony in the town.
I Was Under Spell For Saying Govt Officials Compromised Us – Olukotun
However, one of the kingmakers, the Olukotun of Ikirunland, Chief Oseni Agboola, yesterday, said that he was under spell during a recorded phone conversation with a relative where he confirmed the manipulation of the selection process by the government officials.
This is coming five days after the audio has gone viral on the social media.
Admitting that he was the one who spoke in the audio, the kingmaker explained that he was not conscious of his utterances in the conversation.
Agboola had claimed in the audio that the government officials, among who are Commissioner for Local Government, Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government, Chief Moshood Oluawo, manipulated them into adopting the candidature of Akadiri.
He stated in the audio that they (the six kingmakers) were taken to the Government House where they held a mock election in favour of Akadiri before the real election the following day.
But Olukotun retracted his claim while speaking on a private radio station, Fresh FM, yesterday, saying: “Yes, I was the one who spoke in the audio. However, I was not conscious that I said it until the audio came out. I was under intense pressure from family members to do what I did. It was not even clear that I had said that. No official of government took us to Osogbo.
“I was under spell. Honestly, I did not know how I said that. I did not participate in the said election in Osogbo. The government did not whisk us away for four days. No politician made us to sign any agreement. I retract what I said in the audio. I learnt that there is a voodoo hanged at the front of my residence. I cannot even go into my house now. It is that bad.”