The choice of Oba Omogbolahan Lawal as the Oniru of Iru land may become a subject of litigation, as a prince of Iruland, Hakeem Ajasa, who is a member of the Abisogun ruling house, issued a scathing critique of Bola Tinubu for intentionally denying him the throne to save his business interests after he had been chosen as the Oniru-elect.
This accusation by Ajasa was contained in a pre-litigation letter to Tinubu, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and the Chairman of the Eti-Osa Local Government Area.
Others copied in the letter are Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, the Attorney-General of the state, the current Oniru, and the Elegushi of Ikate Land
Ajasa, in the letter dated October 27, 2020, claimed to have been selected as the next Oniru.
However, he alleged that Tinubu called him to a meeting; and also informed him that he would have to give up his ambition because his business partners were not happy with his emergence.
The letter is titled, ‘Possible Amicable Resolution in Compliance With Order 5 Rule 1 Sub-Rule 2 Sub-Sub Rule (E) of the High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019 and in Respect of Pre-Action Protocol in the Proposed Matter of Prince Hakeem Oriyomi Ajasa (Oniru Elect) and Ors’.
Signed by his lawyer, Ishola Agboola; Prince Ajasa claimed that he remained the only candidate selected by the Abisogun ruling house but Tinubu went ahead to pick Lawal, who he said did not take part in the contest.
The letter reads in part: “Prince Hakeem Oriyomi Ajasa was and remains the only candidate nominated; selected and also appointed by the Abisogun ruling house of Iru kingdom as the Oniru of Iru (elect); but the Lagos State Government, at the behest of Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu; and to the chagrin as well as disappointment of people of Iru Kingdom, imposed one Prince Gbolahan Lawal; who did not partake in the selection; nomination; or appointment exercise held by the Abisogun ruling house.”
According to him, the entire members of the Iru royal kingdom had confirmed in a broadcast on TVC on December 8, 2019, that he had been picked by the Abisogun ruling house in line with the declaration of September 14, 1993, and the custom and traditions of Iru kingdom.
“Suddenly, Chief Tinubu called our client for a meeting; and informed him that his business partners with whom he had his personal project of Eko Atlantic City, had complained to him about our client; that he is a meticulous person who would not compromise on merit; and would scrutinise and also expose certain dealings along Iru axis; that they would prefer to remain a secret.
“According to Chief Tinubu, his business partners demanded that he should use his political might in Lagos State; to coerce the Lagos State Government to impose Gbolahan Lawal on the princes; princesses; and people of Iru kingdom; despite the nomination of Prince Hakeem Ajasa by the Iru kingdom”, the letter stated further.
Continuing, Ajasa said instead of recognising the choice of the ruling family, the Lagos State Government decided to choose Lawal; which he said was against the principle of natural justice.
He also disclosed that he had informed his lawyer; to take the matter to court to make 13 prayers; one of which included that he is recognised as the real Oniru of Iruland; and that he be paid the sum of N500m as general damages.