At the just-concluded Olojo Festival 2017 in Ile-ife Osun state, findings conducted by Tunde Ogunmola revealed that the first ever court in the world is in Ile Ife, the cradle of the Yoruba race popularly called The Source and is located inside the palace of the Ooni.
The Court is called The Emese Court. Chief Oyelami Awoyole is the Head of the Emese Court in the Palace of Ooni of Ife, his imperial majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja I I. Chief Oyelami is the seventh head of the Emese.
In this short interview with TUNDE OGUNMOLA In the Ooni Palace, the Chief revealed what you need to know about the Emese Court and other Courts in the Palace and how they operate.
What does Emese Court stands for and what role does this court plays in the Palace of Ooni?
Emese Court has been existing since the creation of the earth. It has been here since Oduduwa came into this world, and it is the first court in Nigeria and the world, where different cases like stealing, wife snatching, land or farmlands dispute, domestic violence etc are heard and settled just like the various courts we have in the country today. It might interest you to know that there are four Courts in this Palace where cases are heard – The first one is with the High Chiefs, The second is Emese Court, the third is with Kabiesi (the king), the fourth one is at ‘Ile Ase’.
Which among these courts is the highest ruling court just like the Supreme Court?
The highest ruling court here is ‘Ile Ase’ House of Command. Whatever judgment made here is the final. If someone is unsatisfied with judgment he gets in other three courts, he can take the case to ‘Ile Ase’ House of Command which is the final.
The hair on your head is half cut likewise some other people here. What does this connote?
It is a symbol and form of identification for the ‘Emeses’. Any one you see with this kind of hairstyle or haircut is a member of the Emese Court. All (Obas) Kings in Yoruba land, and even Benin Kingdom have them in their Palaces, but their forms of identification are different.
Who are the Emese People?
The Emese people are the closest people to the Ooni. They sit very close to the Oba wherever he goes.