Adenuga Folagbade

Adenuga Folagbade was born in 1892 and became Awujale of Ijebu when on Ademolu’s death in 1925, the Tunwase family which he belonged reluctantly produced him, after their preferred candidate, who was Adenuga’s elder brother, was ruled illegible due to technical reasons of not being an abidagba (born during parent’s reign), his mother being a non-Ijebu and his malformed toe and hand.

As the Awujale, Adenuga habitually patronized ex-convicts some of who he strangely conferred with chieftaincy titles. By 1928, his insistence on corrupt practices had formed a subject in two major Lagos newspapers- the Lagos Daily News and the Nigerian Advocate. Incidentally, he provided the Resident Commissioner, who had already been prodded against him, a reason to set up a Commission of inquiry by falling-out with an accomplice who was equally of doubtful character, Joseph Daniyi Igun, alias “Frugality”. The inquiry, in which he employed the services of two seasoned lawyers of the day- Kitoyi Ajasaand Adeyemo Alakija, ended in conviction. He was blamed for bribery and corruption that has been systemic and widespread in the Ijebu Native Administration. Adenuga grew so unpopular around this time that the Resident feared there might be public unrest if he was not removed as the Awujale.

On 4 February 1929 Adenuga Folagbade was deposed and banished from Ijebu for life. The second day, he proceeded to Ilorin on exile. As Reverend Ransome Kuti warned however, Alli Ogunnaike who succeeded Adenuga to the throne was found to be of even more distasteful character than the banished monarch. Efforts at restoring Adenuga threatened the peace of Ijebu till 1935 when the greater trouble of his life commenced. An attempt had been made on 20 October, 1934 by one fanatical supporter, Yesufu Idimota to the life of the new Awujale. Adenuga, being convicted as an acocomplice was sentenced along with eleven others to various jailterms, but the appeal court nullified this few months after Adneuga had suffered serious humiliation in prison.

Pressure mounted in the 1940s on the Ijebu Native Administration to effect a upward review of the now sober Adenuga Folagbade’s stipend and the request was finally granted in August 1950, to take effect from 1951, but Adenuga died before this day, in the afternoon of 13 November 1950.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer