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Rahmon Adedoyin

31.05.2023 news FLASHBACK: How Murderer Rahmon Adedoyin Almost Became Ooni of Ife

Published 31st May, 2023

By Tola Owoyele

Had events taken a different turn, Rahmon Adedoyin the Osun State-born businessman who was sentenced to death by hanging on Tuesday for murder, would be the current Ooni of Ife. He may not have succeeded, but he wanted to, and he deployed all of his wealth and might to the ambition. He was fairly close.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Court Sentences Rahmon Adedoyin to Death by Hanging

With about 11 businesses, including universities and polytechnics, in his name, Adedoyin belongs in the Nigerian elite class with adequate money and influence to make the law and its apparatuses do their bidding.

READ ALSO: BREAKDOWN: How Rahmon Adedoyin Got Death Sentence

As a powerful and influential personality in Nigeria, he would have felt insulated from condemnation when he was arrested in November 2021, for allegedly having a hand in the death of Timothy Adegoke, an Abuja-based chartered accountant.

Adegoke had travelled to Ile-Ife from his Abuja base on November 5, 2021, to write his MBA exams at the OAU Distance Learning Centre.

When friends and family members no longer heard from the student, two days after he had confirmed his arrival in Ile-Ife to them, he was declared missing. Later, Adegoke’s body was found in a shallow grave at a location very close to Hilton Hotel and Resorts, where he had been accommodated. Hilton Hotel and Resorts belongs to Adedoyin and investigations conducted by the police would later reveal that he was one of the student’s four murderers.

Adedoyin in Court After the Sentencing

On May 30, and after 18 months of an intense legal battle, Adedoyin and two of his employees who also played a part in the killing, were sentenced to death by hanging in a high court sitting in Osogbo, Osun State.

READ ALSO: CLOSE-UP: Who is Rahmon Adedoyin, Man in the Storm Over Murder of OAU MBA Student?

Roheem, Adedoyin’s son, who also had a hand in Adegoke’s death, has been identified as the fourth murderer. He is, however, still at large.

Video clips of the mood in the court room after Adedoyin’s sentencing was quite an interesting one. The “powerful man” sat on one of the chairs provided for all the defendants in the case, looking stunned.

Unknown to many Nigerians, Adedoyin would actually have been crowned the Ooni of Ife in 2015.

MAYE OF YORUBALAND AND OTHER CHIEFTAINCY TITLES

For his growing influence and business strides, Adedoyin got the chieftaincy title of the Maye of Yorubaland from Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, the late Alaafin of Oyo.

And in Ile-Ife, where he is said to have 70 percent of his investments, including the First Access Microfinance Bank and Hilton Hotels and Suites, the titles of ‘Balogun of Parakin-Eleyele’, and the ‘Maye of Ife’ were conferred on him by the late Ooni Okunade Sijuade.

READ ALSO: Hilton Hotel Receptionist Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison for Concealing Evidence of Timothy Adegoke’s Stay

Born into the royal family of Akui Obalaayeto in Ile-Ife in 1957, Adedoyin went to Ansar-Islam Primary School between 1961 and 1969. He also attended Oduduwa College in the town between 1970 and 1974, then Muslim Grammar School, Odinjo, Ibadan, before proceeding to the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) to study mathematics education.

He bagged an MSc and PhD in mathematics education from the All Saints University of America in New York, USA.

SIJUADE’S PASSING AND THE CONFUSION OVER SUCCESSION

After the passing of the then Ooni of Ife, HIM Okunade Sijuade, in 2015, the search for his successor generated widespread controversy as contenders from all four ruling houses in Ile-Ife — Lafogido, Giesi, Ogboru, and Oshikola — were at loggerheads with one another over who would emerge as the next paramount ruler of Yorubaland.

READ ALSO: Rahmon Adedoyin’s Trial Over Timothy Adegoke’s Death ‘Could Be Decided Within a Month’

Oba Sijuade, who reigned between 1980 and 2015, had been selected from the Ogboru ruling house.

Tensions were further heightened when it was stated that the kingmakers in the land had chosen to restrict their selection of a new paramount ruler to the Giesi ruling house.

The kingmakers would, however, quickly put all agitations to rest by producing a document reflecting the succession order as established by a government declaration on the Ooni chieftaincy title in 1977.

With this in place, Adedoyin swung into action, hoping he would become Sijuade’s successor.

GIESI FAMILY ENDORSEMENT CLAIMS

After it became clear to all interested parties that Oba Sijuade’s successor would come from the Giesi ruling house, a story emerged that some “princes and princesses” from the lineage had resolved to endorse Adedoyin as their sole candidate for the exalted throne.

READ ALSO: Rahmon Adedoyin to Remain in Prison as Court Delays Ruling on Bail Request

The “princes and princesses” described Adedoyin as eminently qualified to succeed Oba Sijuwade by virtue of his pedigree, stature, investments, philanthropic activities and immense contributions to the human, physical and industrial  development of the town.

“Adedoyin is a bonafide son of the Agbedegbede compound, where he has been involved in all developmental projects” and possessed the knowledge and skills as an astute and effective manager of men and resources needed to make a success of the office of the Ooni,” the statement jointly signed by the “princes and princesses” read.

Adedoyin would further come up with a claim saying, Oba Sijuade, who he had cordial relations with, had anointed him as his successor before his passing.

DISCLAIMER FROM ANOTHER ROYAL FAMILY MEMBER

In August 2015, Prince Adeyemi Adeoye Aderibigbe Ologbenla, who is one of the princes from the Giesi ruling house, made it clear that Adedoyin did not belong to the lineage that was expected to produce the next paramount ruler.

READ ALSO: Drama as Rahmon Adedoyin Leaves Court via Unknown Exit ‘With the Help of Security Officials’

Ologbenla, a retired professor of economics from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife, went on to say that Adedoyin’s claims of anointment by the then Ooni as the next ruler was complete falsehood. He added that, since the inception of the ancient town, no king had ever appointed his own successor.

The professor also stated that Adedoyin was not “a recognised member of any of the ruling houses from Ife”.

“Since it is the Ifa oracle that selects who becomes the new monarch according to popular belief, there is no way the late Ooni could have anointed any man,” said Ologbenla.

“Sijuwade could not have presented or anointed him (Adedoyin). Another thing is that the Ifa oracle will certainly choose a candidate from the ruling house whose turn it is to present the king. Ifa will never choose a candidate from outside the next ruling house.

READ ALSO: OAU Student’s Murder: Police Withdraw Charges Against Rahmon Adedoyin

“I am in a position to know who the true Giesi children are and we are willing and ready to present candidate or candidates whenever we are told to do so by the kingmakers, local and state governments. All those who are parading themselves have no claims to the throne.”

A research carried out by FIJ showed that Adedoyin, by virtue of being a member of the Akui Obalaayeto royal family, belonged to Oshinkola ruling house on the paternal side.

Further findings showed that it was actually his mother, Alhaja Bintu Abeni Adedoyin, who was from the Agbedegbede family, one of the royal families that belong to the Giesi ruling house.

However, and as far as Yoruba tradition is concerned, the offspring of a female member of a royal family can never be in contention to become king.

Technically speaking, Adedoyin’s only option of becoming a king was through the Oshinkola family. This ultimately ruled him out of the 2015 race.

READ ALSO: Timothy Adegoke’s Brother Threatened in Court as Hearing Begins

Despite this revelation, Adedoyin remained undeterred. He still wanted to be the paramount ruler of Yorubaland.

THE DESPERATE APPROACH

When it became glaring that Oba Eniola Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the current Ooni of Ife, would emerge as the new ruler in late 2015, Adedoyin engaged in a campaign of calumny against the then king-elect.

Adedodoyin was alleged to have sponsored Ologundudu, a popular Ewi exponent, to go on air in many radio stations in the southwest, to verbally abuse and defame the next king.

READ ALSO: From Real Estate Fraud to Land Grabbing, Ooni Ogunwusi’s Scandals

This is not to say the current Ooni was a saint. As a matter of fact, FIJ had on many occasions carried out investigative reports that evidently showed that he is a master of shady deals and fraudulent ventures.

The bone of contention, however, was whether he was a rightful candidate for the crown or not. And all the angles that were explored more than showed that he was better qualified for the stool than Adedoyin.

After his coronation as the new Ooni, and when he thought he had had enough of Adedoyin’s incessant acts of calumny, Ogunwusi stripped the businessman of his ‘Maye of Ife’ tittle over a poem he allegedly wrote to deride the Ooni stool.

READ ALSO: ‘Over N99m and Still Counting’ — 10 More Victims of Ooni’s Real Estate Fraud Speak Out

Despite this, the feud between the Ooni and Adeddoyin continued until the Timothy Adegoke incident took centre stage.

WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF ADEDOYIN HAD BECOME THE OONI?

Hypothetically speaking, if Adedoyin had succeeded in his bid to become the Ooni of Ife in 2015, Hilton Hotel and Resorts would still have continued running its business and services.

READ ALSO: EXPOSED: How Ooni Ogunwusi, Kashamu Grabbed N20bn Land From Surveyor

The million-dollar-question now is, if a Timothy Adegoke had died in Hilton Hotel and Resorts belonging to an Ooni Rahmon Adedoyin, would justice have been served? Nobody knows.

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Published 31st May, 2023

By Tola Owoyele

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