Ogun Monarch’s Burial Stokes Controversy, As Matter Enters Court

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The Alaye-Aba of Aba, Aiyepe, Ogun State, Oba Rauf Adebayo Raji-Suleimon died and the relations prepared to give him a befitting burial.

Members and relations of the departed monarch dug grave, set up canopies for visitors and concluded funeral arrangements to bury the Oba according to Islamic rites on January 24, 2021.

Suddenly, Osugbo Society of Ijebuland also known as the Ogboni Society stepped in and allegedly hijacked the corpse.

Angered by the action, Mrs Aderonke Egunjimi, Mrs Tiwalade Abass and Mrs Adeyemi Joseph, daughters of the Oba, have instituted a N50 billion lawsuit against the society through their lawyer Chief Bolaji Ayorinde SAN.

They described their late father as a devoted and practising Muslim who performed pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina and had several awards and recognitions by Muslim Societies because of his contributions to the Islamic faith.

The late Monarch’s daughters sought for a mandatory injunction compelling the society to return the corpse forthwith to their custody at the applicants’ Family House being at No 1, Alaye Aba Street, Aba Quarters, Aiyepe, Ogun State.

The Oba’s daughters who further accused members of the society of infringing on their rights to privacy and family life and depriving their father of a befitting burial.

The defendants in the suit are: Chief Adeleke Adetola Dako (1st defendant), Chief Mojid Ogunmefun (2nd defendant), Lekan Adekoko (3rd defendant), Chief Ebenezer Ogunlala (4th defendant), Chief Fagbola Adeniyi (5th defendant), Kazeem Adeleke (6th defendant), Taorid Jimoh (7th defendant) and Abiodun Adeleke (8th defendant).

Others are Monsuru Eleku (9th defendant), Chief Safiriyu Adeleye (10th defendant), Jamiu Salawu (11th defendant), Chief Sodiq Osiyemi (12th defendant, Chief Eji Ademeji (13th defendant), Chief Adebisi Opanuga (14th defendant, and Chief Ayo Olubukola (15th defendant), (sued jointly and severally as members and representatives of the unincorporated Osugbo Society of Ijebuland specifically in Odogbolu Local Government,  Ijebu Ode Local Government,  Ijebu East Local Government, Ijebu North Local Government, Ijebu North East Local Government, and Ogun Waterside Local Government) and Ijebu Traditional Council (16th Respondent).

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They also asked the court to declare the conduct and practice of the 1st to 15th unconstitutional, illegal, vexatious, barbaric, obnoxious, immoral and repugnant to the dictates of civil order as enshrined in the constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights 2004.

The applicants are further asking the court for an order restraining Ijebu Traditional Council from giving directions or orders to the 1st to 15th respondents contrary to the reliefs sought by the applicants.

The Ogun Monarch’s burial steeped in controversy is lying critically ill in the court room for adjudication.

The Nation reported that in an affidavit in support of Originating Motion on Notice deposed to by the deceased’s younger brother, Alhaji Yisa Oloyede Sulaimon, he stated that traditionally, members of the Osugbo Society act as enforcers of the decisions of Obas in Ijebuland.

No date has been fixed for hearing of the application.