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Siblings Rivalry: Inside story of the cold war within Oniru Royal family

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There is the popular African proverb that says that when brothers fight to death, a stranger inherits their property. This powerful axiom could best illustrate what might likely be happening to one of Lagos’ popular families: Abiodun-Oniru siblings.

For some time now, the story of the three sons of late Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru, the immediate past Oniru of Iruland, an upscale community in Lagos State —Adesegun, Tijani and Demola— has been one of the most-talked about by many in the state.

The fourth is Olumide, quiet but also a suave looking dude like his older siblings. Just as the gist around them gains traction on the traditional media, they are also a staple on social media.

The conversations around the Oniru brothers became a matter of public interest soon after their monarch father joined his ancestors in September 2019.

Spotlight gathered that shortly after the passing of the late Oba Oniru, some sort of hushed smouldering ‘war’ ensued among the three brothers over who would have emerged the successor to the throne. Adesegun, a former Lagos State Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, is the first son of the late monarch. He is quite rich and also close to the seat of power in the state. His immediate younger brother, Tijani, on the other hand, was also very popular and well-loaded.

Aside from being the Oluwo Ejiwe of Iruland, (the agbo elegba title) he was very close to the other White Cap chiefs as well as other indigenes of the community. He is described as a great benefactor to many in the area.

The third Oniru brother, Ademola, who relocated from the United States some few years ago to manage popularly Oniru Beach, was also said to have made subterranean moves to realise his dreams of succeeding their father.

It was gathered that the silent battle for the throne was so intense that when Adesegun, who was then the Aremo of Iruland, was picked by the Akiogun branch of Iru royal family as their candidate to fill the then vacant stool, Tijani and Ademola were allegedly not happy for their elder brother’s choice. Not even the intervention of their respective family heads could make them close ranks.

However, their individual ambitions were said to have led to a series of intrigues, horse-trading and backbiting that later exploded in their faces as they all lost out completely in the bid to ascend the throne.

A source revealed that their inability to form a united front against their opponents, but blinded by their individual ambition paved the way for the emergence of ex-cop and former Lagos Commissioner, Oba Omogbolahan Abdulwasiu Lawal —from Abisogun branch of Iru Royal Family—whom many never considered a top choice for the throne. Consequently, the trio has been reportedly silently licking their wounds and are now forced to bear the brunt of latest changes in the administration of the rich community.

Given the elitist nature of the kingdom as an upper crust community comprising Iru and Victoria Island —a prime real estate domain in Lagos State, sources said it’s understandable why the Oniru Brothers were desperately scheming to succeed their deceased father.

But like they used to say, people fight realities in different ways but for Adesegun, the eldest of the Oniru brothers, it appears the reality is just settling in that not only is he no longer the Aremo to the throne, but he isn’t the man chosen for the throne.

A source told Spotlight that during the reign of their father, Adesegun and his siblings and their friends lived like kings. They lived life to the very hilt, a life of opulence and royalty, with undisguised disdain for the indigenes and residents of the kingdom.

Even the other princes and princesses of the other royal families were seen as lesser beings to the sons and daughters of the then reigning king, this particular perception of the other princes may just be the reason Tijani Oniru could raise his hands to slap Prince Murisiku Ajasa, a fellow prince of the Kingdom on official duties from the palace last weekend.

The unfortunate face-off between Prince Murisiku and Prince Tijani ultimately led to the invasion of the Oniru Palace on Sunday, July 5 in the company of some policemen. It is important to note that the face-off between Tijani Oniru and some members of the enumeration committee led by Prince Murisiku on the duty of enumerating the property of the kingdom on the instruction of the new Oniru, Oba Lawal has been described as excessive power taken too far.

Palace source said there are no malevolent intentions to the ongoing enumeration exercise being carried out by the new Oniru as it’s for the benefit of all the three branches of the royal families —the Akiogun, Abisogun and Ogunyemi families. Thus the sons of the former Oniru have been enjoined to accord the new custodian of their heritage the deserved respect and to conduct themselves in the right manner.

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Eid-el- Fitr: Obasa congratulates Muslims, calls for more patriotism

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– Speaker says Nigeria’s current challenges should further unite the citizens

– Advises President Buhari to act on requests by Southern governors

– Expresses belief in a better Nigeria and calls for prayers for the country

Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa, has appealed to Nigerians to see the country’s current challenges as an opportunity to further unite them saying this is a sure way to national progress.

Speaker Obasa made the appeal in a statement on Wednesday to commemorate this year’s Eid-el-Fitr celebrated by Muslims across the world.

Obasa expressed belief that the security and economic challenges Nigeria is faced with at the moment are a face from which the country would come out stronger.

He also advised President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently act on the requests recently made by the Southern Governors Forum as a way to curb rising insecurity in the country.

According to the former chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria, “President Buhari should not only give a thought to the requests made by the governors, he should also implement them for the country to move forward.

Appealing to the citizens of the country not to lose faith and hope, the Speaker said: “This year’s Ramadan afforded many of us the opportunity to pray for the country. It is obvious that the country has some challenges.

“However, the challenges should not be left to the government alone. Every citizen of Nigeria is important and must play that positive role that would ultimately move the country from where it is now to where we want it to be.

“We are a religious set of people and the religions practised in the country teach us to live in love and peace with one another as well as be our neighbours’ brothers and sisters.

“More than ever, we have the responsibility to make the country habitable, devoid of criminal elements, and we must be resolute on this.”

The Speaker congratulated Muslims in Nigeria for witnessing the end of the Ramadan.

“Beyond the celebration, let us all endlessly practise the virtues of love, obey the commandments of Allah, ensure a peaceful, progressive and prosperous Nigeria and continue to pray to God for more grace,” Obasa urged.

Eromosele Ebhomele,
Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker,
Lagos State House of Assembly.

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2023: Tinubu Has Our Support – Igbo Group In Lagos

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An Igbo group in Lagos State has declared its support for the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, ahead of 2023 should the latter agree to contest the presidential election.

The Obasa Movement, Ndigbo branch, in Lagos made the promise when its members paid a courtesy visit to the Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) Foundation at the weekend.

At the meeting which had royal fathers and leaders from the Igbo community in the state, High Chief Enyiwauzo Solomon Sunday Chukwu (Solochus), who coordinates the Obasa Movement (Ndi-Igbo Lagos), said it was a general decision to also support Speaker Mudashiru Obasa of the Lagos State House of Assembly in his political journey.

To this effect, Chief Chukwu, who led Igbo leaders and members of the group across Lagos West to the foundation, said his people are prepared to sacrifice their time and other resources to achieve victory for Tinubu and Obasa.

“Whatever I am today was the result of Tinubu’s policies,” he said.

Commending the group, the Director-General of the foundation, Hon. Ipoola Omisore, noted that the Igbos remain important to the growth and development of Lagos and Nigeria.

Omisore added: “We are here because of two people, Asiwaju Tinubu and Rt. Hon. Obasa. When you want to deal with people, first try to know how faithful the people are.

“Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the most faithful Nigerian to other tribes. He believes in talents and does not care where a person comes from. He has fixed Igbo men and women in his cabinet and in other offices.

“Even out of cabinet office, he still made sure those who succeeded him followed the steps. As I talk to you now, we are planning primaries and Igbos will take part.

“So your coming here is to solidify the friendship and trust we have in each other. In Lagos, nobody can wish away the Igbo people.”

Omisore added: “When an Igbo man says he stands by you, he stands by you. Igbos are nobody’s enemies. They only operate by principles.

“I also want to tell you that Obasa is a very reliable person. So I want to let you know that Obasa is the best for Lagos West. He is going to the Senate with 20 years experience from the Lagos State House of Assembly and he is going there with authority, not to learn the ropes.”

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Makinde: Supreme Court Declares Dissolution Of Oyo Councils Illegal

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The Supreme Court on Friday declared the dissolution of local government administrations in Oyo State and their replacement with caretaker committees as illegal.

In a ruling on Friday, the Apex court said the replacement of the council chairman with caretaker committees is unlawful.

The Supreme Court, in a unanimous judgment by a five-man panel of Justices, held that Makinde acted beyond his powers, when on his assumption of office on May 29, 2019.

The Apex court, in its lead verdict that was read by Justice Ejembi Eko, noted that Makinde took the action despite a subsisting court order.

It held that the Governor acted “invidiously and in contemptuous disregard of a High Court judgement”, when he dissolved the democratically elected Chairmen and Councillors, and appointed Caretaker Committees in their stead.

Other Justices that concurred with the lead judgment the Supreme Court delivered during a virtual session it held on Friday, were Justices, Inyang Okoro, Kekere Ekun, Adamu Jauro and Ibrahim Saulawa.

The former Chairmen were sacked in May 2019 by Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo state.

They were elected in 2018 during the administration of the immediate past Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.

The action of Makinde was met with widespread criticism, mainly from the Oyo State chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON).

The ALGON had described the development as “unconstitutionally unwise, unexpected and too hasty for a new government that is yet to find its feet.”

Also, Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), had subsequently declared Makinde’s action unconstitutional.

However, the state government, despite the intervention of Malami, secured an injunction that restrained the embattled council bosses from the forceful takeover of the council secretariats.

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