In a legal memorandum addressed to the Lagos State High Court in the Epe Judicial Division, Chief Ibrahim Ibikunle Eleto has officially declared his intention to commence legal proceedings against the chairman of Lekki LCDA, Engr. Rasaki Bamidele Kasali, Chief Talimu Babatunde, Oba Liasim Abdul Lateef Ogunbekun, and the Attorney General of Lagos State.
The dispute revolves around the Baaleship stool of Origanrigan Community in the Lekki Local Council Development Area, Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State.
In the Memorandum of Claim as seen by Freelanews, Chief Eleto, represented by Hon. Yakubu Eleto Esq. of Yakubu Eleto Chambers, outlines the background information leading to the cause of action.
The Baaleship stool of Origanrigan 1 is a recognized chieftaincy stool under the Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, regulated by the Baale-in-Council of Origanrigan gentleman Chieftaincy Declaration. The declaration provides for three ruling houses in a specific order of rotation; Kugba Ruling House, Oluwo Ottu-Odufolire, and Odupeyin Ruling House.
Since the demise of Baale Ganiyu Olufowobi in February 2020, the Baaleship tussle has begun.
Chief Eleto asserts that, based on community agreements, it is the turn of the Oluwo Ottu-Odufolire to present a candidate to fill the vacant stool. The Oluwo Ottu-Odufolire lineage has four children, and Chief Eleto, being the first heir and first son, claims it is his right to ascend the throne.
The dispute arose when Chief Talimu Babatunde proposed that the Ottun Baale should be the next Baale, a suggestion that Chief Eleto argues is not in line with the customary succession style in Origanrigan Nla.
Despite attempts to consult the Ifa Oracle and reach a consensus through various family meetings, the selection process has faced disruptions, leading to unrest in the community.
Chief Eleto accuses Chief Talimu Babatunde and his faction of rejecting the Ifa Oracle’s decision, which had initially nominated both Chief Eleto and Talimu Babatunde. According to Chief Eleto, the Ifa Oracle unanimously picked him as the Baale-elect during the divination process.
Chief Eleto contends that Chief Talimu Babatunde and others are lobbying to make his elder brother the Baale, bypassing the customary succession principles. He claims that Chief Talimu Babatunde has been boasting about using political connections and illegitimate means to achieve his goal.
Therefore, Chief Eleto seeking recognition of the right of the SHEU TIJANI OWOSENI branch of the Oluwo Ottu-Odufolire to fill the vacant stool, setting aside all steps taken by the local government and others to approve Chief Talimu Babatunde’s appointment, and an order of perpetual injunction restraining Chief Talimu Babatunde from receiving any staff of office.
The Memorandum of Claim also proposes settlements, including not recognizing Chief Talimu Babatunde’s nomination, approving and installing Chief Ibrahim Ibikunle Eleto as the new Baale, and calling for an emergency meeting of stakeholders to ratify the most validly nominated candidate.
The legal battle now awaits responses from the defendants, and the High Court is set to witness a significant dispute over the rightful occupant of the Baaleship stool in Origanrigan Community.