Barely a month after Prince Saka Adelola Matemilola was declared Olowu-elect of the Owu Kingdom in Abeokuta, Ogun State by the kingmakers, two members of the royal family have petitioned the state government, warning against the appointment of Matemilola as the Olowu.
Matemilola is one of the seven princes screened by Owu kingmakers led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo on March 30, 2022.
The Olowu stool became vacant following the death of Oba Adegboyega Dosumu on 12th December 2021.
Prince Tajudeen Adelani and Princess Aminat Adesina, from two royal families, in their petitions, alleged that a non-indigene of the Owu Kingdom can’t ascend the throne of Olowu stool, insisting that Matemilola is not an indigene.
Those screened include an Archbishop of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Dr Adegbemi Adewale with 1,027 scores at the end of the Ruling House selection.
He holds a doctoral degree in African Law at the University of Ibadan and came from Ile Aderinoye; Princes Adelani Oladimeji from Ile Omoleefon, who is a Registered Town Planner; Dr Saka Matemilola, a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers with a Doctoral Degree from University of Cambridge from Ile Soke and Olatidoye Olaniyi, a Retired Permanent Secretary in Ogun State Civil Service from Soke.
Others were: Prince Adeyanju Bakinson, a Registered Town Planner from Ile Otopo; Simeon Soyele a veteran journalist from Ile Lumosa and Adesina Adelani a Project Management Consultant from Ile Soke.
Obasanjo, the Balogun of Owu, on 30th March, led other kingmakers in the statutory selection process that lasted for hours, which produced Prince Saka Matemilola as the next Olowu of Owu Kingdom.
It was gathered that the kingmakers have forwarded their report to Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, who is expected to announce the next Olowu of Owu Kingdom.
But the two petitioners from the royal families are asking Abiodun and Obasanjo-led kingmakers to guard against appointing a “non-indigene” as the next Olowu of Owu Kingdom.
One of the petitioners, Adelani is said to be a delegate representative of Ile Omoleefon, one of the compounds that make up the Otileta Ruling House.
The female petitioner, Princess Aminat Adesina is the Secretary of the Aderinoye compound in the same Ruling House.
Adelani and Adesina, in their separate petitions to the ministries of Justice, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, are claiming that Matemilola “is a native of Ibadan in Ibadan North-East Local Government Area of Oyo State.”
They insisted that the candidate had alluded to his Ibadan indigeneship in an affidavit he swore to dated 15th May 2000 at the High Court Registry, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Adelani pointed out that “In the form submitted by Prince Matemilola, it was discovered that he is not from Ile Soke which he claimed but the house and the kingmakers did not take cognizance of it.”
According to the petitioners, Prince Matemilola should not be allowed to become their king.
On her part, Adesina said Prince Matemilola is “unqualified being a non-indigene” to the throne and appealed to Governor Abiodun and the kingmakers to “stop the desecration of our customs and tradition in the Owu Kingdom.”
But responding to the allegation, Prince Matemilola described the affidavit where he swore to be a native of Ibadan as “correct and consistent.”
He declined further comment on his alleged non-indigene of the Owu Kingdom.
Prince Matemilola said: “What I am saying is that the affidavit is absolutely correct and consistent and I also have a birth certificate to it which shows I was born in Ibadan. So, just check the consistency of that, check the meaning of the word ‘native’ as opposed to the word ‘indigene,’ then do your story.
“Apart from that, no other reaction from me.”