The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, returned to court on Tuesday to defend his royal seat as the rightful Oba of Lagos before a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja.
The Oba, who had earlier testified before Justice S.B. Candide Johnson on June 22, 2017 in a suit that had Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, Prince Kola Akintoye and Prince Kola Abayomi Balogun as defendants, insisted that he is the legitimate candidate for the throne he now occupy.
In a suit numbered LD/1215/2003 Prince Sammy Adedoyin Adebiyi and Prince Rasheed Modile had asked for the order of the court to declare null and void the appointment and installation of Akiolu as the Oba of Lagos after the demise of Oba Adeyinka Oyekan 11.
Their arguments bordered on claims that Oba Akiolu was not a descendant of the Akiolu royal family as his earlier documents read “Rilwan Akinolu” as opposed to Akiolu. They also stated that he flouted the rule which stated that 90 days must elapse between the death of an Oba and the installation of another.
While being cross-examined by the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Ilori Abiodun SAN, Oba Akiolu made it known that his father was Alhaji Tajudeen Akiolu and that his brothers had opted to bear Akinolu at their own will but he was an Akiolu. He also stated that of all 21 past Obas before him, six had been installed before 90 days and one even had been installed a day after an Oba’s death.
Mr. Abiodun (SAN), also alleged that Oba Akiolu could not clearly state the birth position of Akiolu in the Ologunkuntere’s household but was able to state the birth positions of Esilokun, Olusi and Akintoye. He also pointed to Exhibit 2 which was the letter written by the Akiolu royal house to the king makers on the April 21, 2003, where his people also failed to mention the exact birth position of Akiolu.
Mr. Abiodun SAN also pointed out the fact that the capping of Oba Akiolu was clouded with irregularities. “At the time of your capping in 2003, there was no Chief Eleto-Ejigbo as there was a matter in court at the time which involved the then chief, so he was not there to cap you,” he said.
The prosecutor further provided a book; Cultural Perspectives of Lagos, in which a picture clearly shows that the controversial capping of one Oba Adeniji in 1949 by one Gafar Onimole was actually done by an Eleto-Ejigbo.
In his response to the issue of birth position, Oba Akiolu told the court that he didn’t work in a birth and death registry, so he could not tell the exact birth position. The Oba also informed the court that he wrote the book’s foreword and he also stated that not everything depicted in that book was true.
His counsel, M. A. Bashiru also clarified that Chief Eleto-Ejigbo was not the only one who had the right to cap an Oba but any male member of the Chief’s household was conferred with the right to cap the Oba and so was the case in Akiolu’s capping.
The matter was subsequently adjourned till July 25, 2017.