Awujale had written to inform the Governor of his plans to go to the UK for medical attention. The letter contained information about the Oba’s itinerary and contact details. The Governor read the letter. Finally! He responded. He responded by asking for further and better particulars about Kabiyesi’s health and the planned trip to enable him decide whether or not to approve the request.
Request? Awujale picked up his pen and explained that his initial letter was not a request for approval, but information about his journey.
Information? The governor fired another letter. “Your Majesty is hereby requested to comply with His Excellency’s earlier letter.” Oba Adetona filed away the letter and instead of picking his pen, it was his passport that he picked. Off to London!
The gathering clouds became ominous!
The governor was waiting patiently to receive Awujale’s response. He waited and waited. When the news came, it was not the letter he was expecting. Instead the news he got was that the Ogbagba II, Commander of the Federal Republic had left for London.
Onabanjo weighed carefully his options. He was an Ijebu son. He was Awujale’s subject. But he was also the Executive Governor of the State, the first citizen of the State by virtue of office. What was he to do? Should he call the Awujale and order him to return? He picked the phone. He hesitated. No, he won’t call. Instead, he called some prominent Obas in Ogun State.
Awujale had hardly settled down in London when his phone began to ring. ‘Kabiyesi, Gomina n binu o. E ma pada bo o!” It was a First Class Oba calling from Nigeria. The phone rang again, another Kabiyesi, with the same message. Another call. Another call. Another call. Another call. Alake of Egba called. Akarigbo called. The husband of Olori Iyabo Adetona refused. They pleaded with the husband of Olori Kemi Adetona. The Ogbagba II maintained his stand. When it appeared that the phone would not stop ringing, Kabiyesi changed his telephone number.
The Governor was waiting to hear that Awujale had returned to the country. If he heard anything, it was to be informed that Awujale was still in London.
The ominous gathering cloud became a bit too heavy!
On November 23, 1981, the people of Ogun State woke up to receive the first shock! “Oba Sikiru Adetona is hereby suspended from office as the Awujale of Ijebuland in the Ijebu-Ode Local Government area until further notice!”
Suspended ke? Suspension bawo? From Abeokuta to Ota, from Ifo to Ilaro, from Ijebu Ode to Sagamu, from Mowe to Idiroko, the question was the same. Could Awujale be suspended by his ‘son’, the Governor?
The second shock came almost immediately. The Government set up a Commission of Enquiry to probe the affairs of the suspended Oba Sikiru Adetona as the Awujale of Ijebuland. The commission was headed by Hon. Justice S. O. Sogbetun who became a Judge of the State on June 1, 1977.
Awujale picked his phone. He called two leading lawyers of the time; Chief FRA Williams and Omooba Sina Odedina. Timi the Law advised his client not to appear personally before the Commission, as it was not constituted properly. A case was promptly filed challenging the constitutionality of the Sogbetun Commission.
Well, Awujale or no Awujale, case in court or no case in court, Sogbetun Commission sat. Things became tense in Ijebuland whilst the Commission met. At the end of the day, the Commission submitted its report. The Awujale was found guilty.
It was in the evening that the report of the Commission was submitted to the government. Overnight, government read the report, government reviewed the report, government digested the report. All in the course of one night.
By the following morning, having carefully reviewed and painstakingly considered the report, the Government announced the deposition of Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, CFR, as the Awujale of Ijebuland.
Ha! From suspension to deposition! But Kabiyesi had a case in court! People speculated. What could have happened? It was one speculation after another.
Off to court again! The now deposed Kabiyei went to court. The case of His Royal Highness Oba S. K. Adetona v. Governor of Ogun State and Others was assigned to Hon. Justice Owolabi Kolawole. You remember him? His Lordship was the trial judge in the case of AYINLA OMOWURA.
On Friday, May 4, 1984, Justice Kolawole delivered his judgment. His Lordship found that there was: “so much indecent haste on the part of Government to depose the plaintiff that it overlooked so many fundamental issues…in its haste to have the plaintiff deposed, it overlooked to give any reason for the plaintiff’s deposition.” His Lordship therefore declared that the decision of His Excellency to depose His Royal Majesty was null and void.
Now something happened while the case was going on. A military coup occurred. His Excellency, Chief Olabisi Onabanjo was removed from office as a result of the coup. It was therefore the lot of the new military governor COL. OLADIPO DIYA to restore Oba Sikiru Adetona to the throne of his fathers. Coincidentally Col Oladipo Diya is another Son of Ijebuland! The saga continues……………
Thanks for your time!
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