Selection of Olowu of Owu Kingdom: The Waiting Game Continues Amidst Allegations

The contestants
From L-R
Prince Abiodun Obadayo SOYELE
Prince Olatidoye
Prince Adesina
Prince Barkinson
5.prince Matemilola
Prince (Arch Bishop) Adegbemi
7.Prince Adelani

By Winnie Kodilonye

As the people of Owu Kingdom in Ogun State anxiously await the government’s announcement of who becomes the next Olowu following last Wednesday’s final screening by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo-led Kingmakers council, there are mixed feelings in some quarters that an Olowu who is not people oriented may emerge due to certain intrigues at the earliest stage of the selection process.

Obasanjo addressing the contestants

There is the allegation that the scores claimed to have been awarded by the 30 OTILETA Ruling House delegates were doctored, tele-guided and or influenced. One of the seven contestants chosen by the delegates Dr. Adegbemi Adewale apart from being an Archbishop of Methodist Church was said to have actively participated in drawing the selection template with which the selection was done. There is the argument that he ought to have been disqualified as a contestant from the beginning.

The Kingmakers of Owu Kingdom on Wednesday 30th March, 2022 conducted a seven hour (12noon-7:00pm) statutory selection process to choose who is best qualified to become the new Olowu of Owu.

Seven Princes presented from the Otileta Ruling House were individually screened for the stool.
These Princes were those the 30 delegates of the Otileta Ruling House chose at the Selection of Candidates for the throne which held on Wednesday 10th March, 2022 in Agbeloba Area of Abeokuta. The seven out of the 12 Candidates who were nominated by their 5 different compounds for the throne were picked and their names sent to the Kingmakers.

They included Prince Adegbemi A. Adewale, (56), an Arch Bishop of Methodist, a Lawyer and a PhD (African Law) holder from the University of Ibadan with Supreme Court Reg. No. 052019. He is from Aderinoye’s Compound.

Prince Semiu Adeyemi Adelani (59) of Omoleefon Compound, a Master of Urban & Regional Planning Degree holder of the University of Ibadan and a Registered Town Planner (with RTP no 2050) and
Prince Saka Adeola Matemilola (57) of Soke Compound, a PhD holder from the University of Cambridge and a COREN registered Mechanical Engineer (with Registration No. R. 13,609) were also chosen.

Others included Prince Olaniyi Adejumo Olatidoye (72) of Soke Compound, a retired Perm Secretary in the Ogun State Civil Service, an MBA degree holder from University of Ado-Ekiti,
Prince Adeyanju Kazeem Bakinson (40), from Otopo Compound, a 2021 Doctor of Science Degree Holder from Atlantic International University, USA, a Registered Town Planner with no RTP/2130,
Prince Simeon Abiodun Soyele, (63) from Lumosa Compound a Retired Director in Ogun State Civil Service, business mogul, seasoned journalist and Graduate of Sociology of the University of Ibadan and Post Graduate Diploma of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism and
Prince Adelani Olukayode Adesina (48), of Soke Compound, a 2020 Master of Science Degree holder from Bells University of Technology, Ota.

The former Nigerian President and Owu kingmaker; Chief Obasanjo had addressed the seven candidates before and after the rounds of interview which was witnessed by both the Abeokuta North Local Government Secretary, the HOGAS, and other Local Government Officials who came with the Local Government Information Unit to record the process.

Chief Obasanjo, Chairman of Afobajes and his team
of the Kingmakers’ process, according to some of the candidates were more thorough and neat because everyone was engaged by the Kingmakers. Having painstakingly done their part, the outcome of the process according to Chief Obasanjo lies on the shoulders of the Executive Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun whose statutory duty, it is to announce the new Oba.

As at press time it was difficult to get a hint of the king makers choice in the selection process and their recommendation to the governor as all kept the outcome to their chests.

However, AtlanticNewsonline gathered that many sons and daughters of the ruling house and Owu sons and daughters expressed the hope that all the anomalies that accompanied the earlier selection process would be taken care of by the Afobajes and Governor Dapo Abiodun who would announce the outcome.

Many however, have argued that the scores claimed to have been awarded by the 30 OTILETA Ruling House delegates were doctored, teleguided and or influenced.
One of the aggrieved who wants to remain anonymous wondered why one of the contestants who was deeply involved in drawing the selection template was not disqualified in the first instance but allowed to contest! “This is unfair to other contestants and to a large extent, renders the scores suspicious and inadmissible”.

It was gathered from sources at Owu that a group of young men who were also at the palace during the final selection process, demanded to see the Secretary of the Ruling House, Prince Tunde Adediran who was alleged to have enriched himself during the selection process. He was alleged to have collected a Camry car from one of the 12 initial candidates who could not make the list of seven.

The young men said they had reclaimed three of the four vehicles collected from their candidate and they will make sure the last Car with the Secretary of Otileta is collected from him, even if they cannot collect the over N40m their candidate was made to cough out by the Secretary.

Another group of young men outside the palace, rained curses on one of the candidates Prince Olanrewaju Bakinson, alleging that he
had bought his way into Otopo Compound about four days to the selection through the same Secretary of Otileta Ruling House said to have collected so much from two candidates to become part of his own compound Otopo, where the Secretary’s father Alakoso Adediran is the current Chairman.

The affidavit sworn to by Prince Bakinson was discovered to have been deposed to at the High Court of Lagos State on 4th March, 2022 in preparation for the selection of 10th March, 2022 even as the house said any affidavit in that regard should have been sworn to maximum two years before year 2022.

Also, the compound name was not correctly spelt, but corrected with pen in the copy cited by our correspondent. This is even as the young people said none of Prince Bakinson’s submitted documents has any link with Otopo Compound, as he did not include his birth certificate, local government of origin certificate except the sworn affidavit which he did four days to the event purposely for the selection.

Prince Bakinson was alleged to have spent so much money for the purpose of the Kingship which included spending so much for an Owu Oba, who is said to be solidly behind his candidacy.
Bakinson was also accused of gathering Owu Baales to a function he organized to mark his 40th birthday ceremony and his house warming ceremony recently held in Lagos where he lavishly spent so much on the Baales under the Royal influence of an Owu Oba.

Furthermore, some men outside the Palace on the screening day raised issues on why Prince Saka Matemilola who should have been screened out and prosecuted for perjury would be allowed to continue in the race because apart from his Sworn Affidavit of 15th May, 2000, which says he is a native of Ibadan in Ibadan-North East Local Government Area of Oyo State of Nigeria, his submitted birth certificate gave his parents’ names as Sule and Aliratu Motemilola and not Matemilola.

The purported Certificate of Registration of Birth issued by Ibadan City Council on 24th February, 1965, to a large extent shows that the claims of the young men against him in the said document are facts.

As the waiting game continues, it is believed that the Afobajes and the government of Ogun in taking their decision would have taken note of all allegations, devoid of any suspicion and acceptable to all sons and daughters of Owu Kingdom, home and in diaspora and prevent any litigation in future.

Written by: Frank Oshanugor

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