The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Friday, signed into law the amended Chiefs Law, Cap 28, Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria, 2000, at the executive council chamber of the governor’s office, state Secretariat, Ibadan.
It be recalled that the state House of Assembly, on Wednesday, passed the bill into law.
Amendments to the law include sub-section (1) of section 28 which hitherto read, “The governor may cause such inquiries to be held at such times and in such places and by such person or persons as it or he may consider necessary or desirable,” now reading, “The governor may cause such inquiries to be held at such times and in such places and by such person or persons as he may consider necessary or desirable.”
Also, sub-section (3) of the new law now reads: “Any person who pursuant to subsection (1) of this section is elevated to wear beaded crown from Baales to Minor Chiefs who being a customary tenant shall continue to pay obeisance to his prescribed or consenting authority.”
Speaking after giving his assent to the law, Makinde said the amendment stipulates a prescribing authority to determine those that are deserving of receiving beaded crowns.
He added that with the amendment done, the state will follow its own law in carrying out actions relating to the chieftaincy matters across the state and no one can go to court to challenge government’s decision.
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Makinde said the amendment will bring sanity into the chieftaincy system in the state and make the traditional council functional.
Among those who witnessed the signing of the bill into law were the deputy speaker of the state House of Assembly, Honourable Abiodun Fadeyi who led the state lawmakers and the Balogun of Ibadan land, High Chief Owolabi Olakulehin who led various Ibadan high chiefs, chiefs and Baales.
Speaking on behalf of the chiefs, the Otun Balogun, High Chief Tajudeen Ajibola said the Olubadan-in-council had yearned for the amendment for the past eight years, and initiated the amendment to the Chiefs Law.
He said Ibadan clamoured for the amendment because its chiefs had been relegated for too long at several public functions because its chiefs do not wear beaded crowns.
Noting that the late governor Abiola Ajimobi attempted the review but failed to legislate it, Ajibola lauded Makinde for showing boldness to see through the process this time.
With the amended law, Ajibola said High Chiefs will now ascend to wear crowns chiefs will become High Chiefs, while some Baales will also be elevated to wear crowns.
The chiefs will now be ranked in the order of Royal Highness up to Royal Majesty and then Imperial Majesty.
Also speaking, the Oniroko of Iroko, Chief Olasunkanmi Abioye said Baales had, for too long, suffered lack of recognition when they get to town.
He said, with the amendment, Baales will be elevated and get more recognition.