Iyaloja Ikorodu Crisis: Barr. Adeboye Dankuwo Wants Lagos Assembly To Provide Enabling Laws On Market Management

Kunle Adelabu

Oba Kabir Shotobi, the Ayangbure of Ikorodu and Hon. Wasiu Adeshina, Chairman, Ikorodu North LCDA

Barr. Adeboye Dankuwo, a Director with the National Assembly in Abuja and President, Community Initiative for Igbogbo Development Union (CIIDU), has charged the Lagos State House of Assembly to enact an enabling law that would address the lacuna in the markets administration in the state.

He gave the charge in his response to the statement released on the Tuesday by former Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikorodu branch and a community leader, Barr. Saheed O.K. Shillings, titled, “Between Ayangbure and Ikorodu Local Government: Iya Oloja, A Grey Area”.

The raging controversies over the selection of the Iya Oloja of Ikorodu Central Local Government which its Chairman, Hon. Wasiu Adeshina said that the council has the constitutional power over the establishment, maintenance and regulation of markets and by extension, supervise the process of appointing Iyaloja, has been generating reactions.

Hon. Adeshina had stated and emphasized in a statement in response to the protests by market leaders and members in Ikorodu against his alleged imposition of Iyaloja of Ikorodu Central LG which was seen by the market people as confrontation to the process overseen by the Ayangbure of Ikorodu, HRM Oba (Engr.) Kabir Shotobi and opposed to their own popular choice, that he has the constitutional power over markets and selection of its leaders.

The situation, which has caused division among the traders and Ikorodu community in general, has also been generating reactions.

A peace committee, led by the Asiwaju of Ikorodu Kingdom, Asiwaju (Pharm.) Steve Anifowoshe, has also intervened to prevent the crisis from degenerating further.

In a piece on Tuesday, former Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikorodu branch, Barr. Shillings, said that both the council and the traditional institution lack the power to exercise control or determine for the market associations who their leaders should be. He, however, said that Ayangbure’s position is justified since the marketers submit themselves to his authority.

“The roles of the traditional institutions and government in the leadership of association is a grey area which both parties must treat with caution. It could backfire against both parties because either could be termed as usurper anytime if they become overbearing. One, therefore, need not vilify the other”, Barr. S.O.K. Shillings said in the statement.

“In the instant case, while it is not the official duty of either institution, it is right for the Oba to take charge, especially when the marketers themselves submitted to his jurisdiction. Further, in the final analysis, the Local Government is not prevented from its constitutional role of maintaining the markets and the chosen Iya Oloja will ultimately relate to the Chairman.

“The imbroglio, in my candid opinion, is unnecessary and just a storm in a teacup. I urge the Chairman to exercise restraints. Besides, assuming without conceding that kabiyesi was wrong, ‘b’éégún bá shubi tó shupa, aa fi ìgbàlè jìí’”, he concluded.

Meanwhile, Barr. Dankuwo, reacting to the legal view of his learned friend, Shillings, raised four grounds of determining the two conflicting interests.

“Dear Alaga, we need to understand that we have two conflicting interests here: Kabiyesi’s interest in the appointment of ‘divisional’ lya-loja, general; and Hon. Wasiu Adesina’s supposed ‘constitutional protection’ in the appointment of Iya-loja exclusively for the Ikorodu Central LCDA”, he said.

“Issues for determination are:

“Whether Ikorodu Central is known to the Nigeria constitution for the chairman to seek constitutional protection;

“Whether Ikorodu Central is synonymous with the Ikorodu Local Government Council (under which every other LCDA) were constitutionally expected to be.

“What Division is Kabiyesi acting on, and under what legal instruments? Better still, what makes a division under this circumstance and under which legal framework? State or Federal?

“Whether there is any law that confers the appointment of Iya-loja on the Kabiyesi”, he added.

“In my humble opinion, I think these are legal questions that should be answered in the resolution of this conflict.

“It would be fine if there were any state laws that conferred the responsibility of the appointment of the Iya-loja on either the Kabiyesi or the chairman”, Barr. Dankuwo said.

While establishing that the two conflicting parties have no power over the markets, the legal expert charged the Lagos State House of Assembly on the need to provide an enabling law to address the challenges posed by the conflicts, to forestall future occurrences.

“As it stands, the chairman has no protection of the constitution except if operating as Ikorodu Local Government Council”, he said.

“Neither did Kabiyesi have any legal authority to appoint any Iya-loja General, except there is a legal instrument backing him so to do.

“I suggest the Lagos State House of Assembly quickly do the needful to cover the existing legal lacuna. Provided the power to do is derived under the concurrent or residual list of the Constitution”, he suggested.

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