History is happening in the realm of chieftaincy matters in Oyo State as the State House of Assembly, on Wednesday, passed a bill to amend the Chiefs Law, Cap 28, Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria, 2000.
Some stakeholders in Oyo town had, days ago, cautioned against passing it, noting that it would violate the existing structure.
This passage, however, followed the presentation of the report of the House Committee on Local Government and State Honors.
While announcing the passage of the bill, the Speaker, Adebo Ogundoyin, described it as a good development which would give the governor the discretionary power in respect of the Chieftaincy holders that are entitled to wear beaded crowns.
The new law gives the governor the discretionary right and sole authority to specify those to wear beaded crowns without consultation with the Council of Obas and Chiefs of the state.
The PUNCH reports that the state Assembly had on Friday, May 12, 2023, held a public hearing on the proposed amendment where opinions of all stakeholders, including traditional rulers were aggregated.
The bill was sponsored by the state governor, Seyi Makinde, as an Executive bill seeking to amend the Chiefs Law.
With the passage, the state legislature has now substituted sub-section (1) of section 28 with a new clause.
The initial provision of Sub-section (1) which read, ”The governor may cause such inquiries to be held at such times and in such places and by such person or persons as it or he may consider necessary or desirable” has now been substituted with “The governor may cause such inquiries to be held at such times and in such places and by such person or persons as he may consider necessary or desirable.”
To this end, former Clause (3) has now become Clause (4) hence the new Sub-section (3) now reads, “Any person who pursuant to subsection (1) of this section is elevated to wear beaded crown from Baales to Minor Chiefs who being a customary tenant shall continue to pay obeisance to his prescribed or consenting authority.”