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HEDA Urges Osun Governor Adeleke To Probe Oluwo Of Iwo’s Alleged Criminal Past, Safeguard People’s Trust

HEDA Urges Osun Governor Adeleke To Probe Oluwo Of Iwo's Alleged Criminal Past, Safeguard People's Trust %Post Title
Oluwo of Iwo

The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre), an anti-corruption and human rights organization, has urged Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State to probe allegations that the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi, is an ex-convict and therefore unfit for his traditional and cultural leadership position.

In a letter signed by HEDA’s Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, the organization expressed serious concerns over reports by international and local newspapers on the alleged criminal records of the monarch.

The petition referenced a May 19, 2024 article from “The Mail,” featuring a photograph of the Oba Rasheed Akanbi with the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, under the headline: “Dodgy Royal: Nigerian King who Harry called his ‘in-law’ is ‘CONMAN jailed and deported after trying to cash stolen £247K cheque’. The article also noted, “The Funky King (Oluwo) was jailed 15 months in 1998.”

HEDA further said in a statement sent to SaharaReporters on Sunday, “Furthermore, ‘The SUN’ newspaper reported that Oba Akanbi, described as a ‘convicted fraudster,’ was arrested in Boston in 1998 for attempting to cash a stolen cheque worth £247,000 from Boeing. The report alleged that Akanbi, using the alias Joseph Pigott, was jailed for 15 months and deported to Nigeria in April 1999. He allegedly attempted to re-enter the US in 2011, leading to another deportation.

“HEDA underscored the essential role of traditional rulers as custodians of their people’s heritage and symbols of authority and respect. The civil society organisation emphasized that traditional rulers must possess impeccable character and be above reproach, despite the 1999 Nigerian Constitution excluding them from formal governance roles. Their influence and importance as a fourth tier of government remain significant.

“Given the gravity of these allegations, HEDA has urged Governor Adeleke to take swift action by establishing a special panel of inquiry to investigate the claims against the Oluwo and implement appropriate legal measures as necessary. The organization highlighted the importance of upholding the rule of law and preserving the integrity of Nigeria’s traditional institutions.”

“HEDA’s letter concluded with a call for immediate and decisive action from Governor Adeleke to strengthen and protect the sanctity of traditional institutions in Nigeria,” it added.  (SaharaReporters)

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