The residents sat down under a tree , discussing in hush tones . Although the topic of discussion was unknown to our correspondent, the atmosphere became charged when they sighted him walking towards the palace .
A man in his 50 s inquired sternly the purpose of our reporter ’ s visit .
Once his question was answered , another man , who seemed to be in his 70 s beckoned on him and said , “ Our king is not available , and when he is not available the whole town is not happy. Although we are not mourning, the town is in disarray because no official function or rites could be performed . ”
This was the situation at the palace of the Olukere of Ikere Ekiti, Oba Ganiyu Obasoyin , when our correspondent visited on Thursday .
Although there were no official activities at the palace , the people described their presence at the palace as a regular necessity .
Pa Mathew Obasoyin , the Alaran of Ekiti , who handles the community ’ s sacrifices , said , “We have rites that we perform every day for the peace and progress of the town . We have not been able to do these due to the absence of our king. Unfortunately , not performing those rights have consequences . ”
The Olukere and five others were on December 27 remanded in prison custody by an Ado – Ekiti Chief Magistrate ’ s Court for the alleged murder of one Femi Kolade in a reprisal on Christmas day .
This was after they were arraigned in connection with violence which erupted shortly after Obasoyin inaugurated his hotel located in Gbemisola area of the town on Friday .
It was learnt that some thugs attacked the hotel because the monarch said Ikere had yet to have a candidate for the 2018 governorship election .
Deputy Governor Kolapo Olusola – an indigene of the town – had been ‘ anointed ’ as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party .
Obasoyin ’ s loyalists allegedly launched a reprisal against those identified as the perpetrators on Monday , which claimed the life of Kolade .
Others charged alongside the Olukere on a remand order filed by the Commissioner of Police are Ajewole Sunday , Adetowoju Bode , Kayode Michael , Olowolafe Tola and Aluko Taiwo .
According to the remand order form marked MAD/181 fk / 17 , the accused persons were charged with conspiracy , attempted murder of Ayodele Osanyinbola and murder of Adefemi Kolade .
The offences are punishable under sections (1 ) and 319 (1 ) of Criminal Code Cap C 16 , Laws of Ekiti State 2012
However , some residents of Ikere Ekiti trooped out in their large numbers on Wednesday to stage a peaceful protest and demanded the unconditional release of Oba Obasoyin .
The residents described the murder case against the king as politically motivated and orchestrated by the state government to dent his image .
A few hours after the protest , the Ogoga of Ikere Ekiti , Oba Adejimi Alagbado , and the Ogoga – in – Council announced the proscription of the title of Olukere.
Obasoyin has been demanding his staff of office from the state government and a recognition as a full – fledged king and founder of Ikere, a situation which had pitted him against the Ogoga and some prominent sons of Ikere.
Announcing the proscription of the Olukere title, Secretary to the Ogoga in Council and the Odofin of Ikere Ekiti, Chief James Alonge , who read Ogoga ’ s address to newsmen at the palace on Wednesday , said Olukere was never a title in Ikere land.
He recalled that the identity recognised for Obasoyin had been Oloje – a masquerade chieftaincy title – whose duty was to appease one of the Ikere gods , Olosunta.
“ This is an individual with no evidence of official recognition or appointment by tradition or the state government. ”
Also on Thursday , some residents of Ikere Ekiti staged a counter – protest to demand the prosecution of Olukere for the alleged murder .
But the Saya of Ikere, Chief Foluso Olowolafe, who is also the secretary of the kingmakers , saw the whole episode of murder charge as a set up by the state government in connivance with the Commissioner of Police, Abdullahi Chafe .
He claimed that Chief Magistrate Adesoji Adegboye who ordered the remand of the Olukere is a son of the late Ogoga , Oba Adegoke Adegboye.
Speaking with our correspondent, Olowolafe said , “ This is a clear case of set up . What happened this morning ( anti – Olukere protest ) also confirmed that . He has been asking for recognition while the Ogoga of Ikere, Oba Adejimi Alagbado , and some other persons are opposing him .
“ His billboard was torn sometimes ago, I don ’ t know what their problem is . Olukere is not demanding recognition from them, he is demanding that from the state government. So, what is the fuss about . ”
Olowolafe narrated that the foundation for the conspiracy against Olukere was laid by the deputy governor (Olusola ) at a private function where he made sarcastic statements about the Olukere .
He accused the deputy governor of saying at every opportunity that there was only one king in the town.
The chief said , “This is a man who has not become the governor and has started inciting the people against one another.
“ When the Olukere inaugurated his hotel , he used the occasion to tell the people that Ikere had no candidate yet; that at the right time , the people would be told who the right candidate was .
“ The hotel was attacked two days later . The attackers had lodged in the hotel for two days through a proxy who now lives in the government house . The attack came on Christmas night when people were celebrating . They destroyed the hotel with damages running into several millions of Naira.
“ They claimed that Olukere killed somebody . If he wanted to kill somebody , would he have gone there with SARS operatives and policemen ? Meanwhile , it was those people that attacked the palace guards in the presence of security agencies .
“ This is just the beginning . They say Olukere is not a king. Looking at the palaces in Yoruba land , does this one not look like one ? Look at the mosque , market, post office, the palace arc , the trees around the palace . Does this place look like where they worship masquerade ?
“ They are confused and do not know the history of the town well . We will pursue this case to a logical end. In Ikole, they have more than 10 kings . It is the same in some other towns of Ekiti like Ipoti , Ayedun , where they have two , three kings . In Ibadan , over 20 kings were installed by the state government.
“ Let the Ogoga tell us who his father was or his ancestral lineage from Benin where he claimed he came on hunting from . ”
Olowolafe said he was one of the kingmakers who elected both the Olukere and Ogoga .
He identified others as the Ologotun , Chief Jide Ayeni ; the Oisa , Dr . Jaiyeola Omoyeni ; the Ekuasa , Kayode Aregbesola ; the Ajana , Alabi Igbekele ; the Olotin , Solomon Owoyemi and the Asae , James Olorunfemi.
He claimed that some of these chiefs are siding with the Ogoga as a result of monetary gain.
Olowolafe said , “ There are three quarters in Ikere – Iro , Odo Oja and Oke Ikere under High Chief Sapetu . Sapetu is under the Olukere but the Ogoga installed another .
“ There will be tension in Ikere if our Oba is not released. There will be no peace in the town. We are waiting for the next action of the government.
“ I ’ m the secretary of kingmakers but the Ogoga has barred me from coming to the palace since February 2015.
The Olukere and Ogoga were both being paid by the government until a decree by Abacha ’ s regime that gave the power to Ogoga to disburse the five per cent allocation chiefs ’ entitlement .
Fayose brought cow and money to the Olukere as he did for other Obas in 2015 , so it is not for his deputy to say otherwise . ”
The chief urged the residents to exercise patient noting that efforts were in top gear to ensure the release of the monarch .
It would be recalled that at the arraignment of the traditional ruler and his co – accused , Chief Magistrate Adegboye had denied them bail and ordered them to be remanded in prison pending the issuance of a legal advice on the case .
Adegboye adjourned the case till January 8 , 2018 .
However , a human rights lawyer , Morakinyo Ogele , an indigene of the town , condemned the arrest, detention , arraignment and remand of Olukere . He accused the police of bias and doing the bidding of the state government.
Ogele said Obasoyin was victimised for declaring during the inauguration of his hotel that “ Ikere has no candidate yet for the 2018 governorship election. ”
“ The offence of the Olukere was that he declared that Ikere had no candidate yet for next year ’ s governorship election while declaring his hotel open and the role of the Commissioner of Police in this matter does not reflect unbiased policing .
“ I see no reason why the hotel should be destroyed and at the same time charging the Oba to court . Those who attacked his hotel were after his life and the role of the government is condemnable .
“ There is a criminal alliance between the police, the government and an indigene of Ikere in the whole episode , ” he added.