Archive for Thursday, December 3, 2009

Kansas lawyer could become Nigerian king

December 3, 2009


Adebayo Ogunmeno is a lawyer in Kansas City, Kan., but he is considering a second career: being a king.

Ogunmeno, 54, is a prince in the Yoruba tribe in southwest Nigeria, and when the time comes, says he thinks he has a good chance to ascend to the throne.

If his plans pan out, it would be an abrupt return to a traditional Yoruba upbringing that he left 26 years ago.

"It is a part of life," he said. "A king is the spiritual leader of the people."

Ogunmeno immigrated to the United States in his 20s, earned a degree in political science and a law degree from Washburn University School of Law in Topeka in 1990.

The next year, he started his current practice of criminal defense and plaintiff law. He recently finished a book, "Silence is Power," about how citizens can protect their constitutional rights.

He returns to Nigeria on vacation nearly every year, where he has an adult son and ties to his native culture.

The current king is getting old, so Ogunmeno, who is related on his mother's side, has decided that he will throw his hat in the ring. If the king dies or steps down, one of the four ruling houses will conduct an election within it to pick the successor. A chief priest then would consult the gods on who would be best, and would report to the kingmakers.

If Ogunmeno would become king, he would rule his home city of Sagamu, which has more than 200,000 residents, and the surrounding area of more than 30 cities, towns and villages.

Other princes are eligible, but many have modern careers and do not want a kingship. The king, tied to ancient traditions and the native religion, must be present at animal sacrifices and other ceremonies related to the many gods.

Ogunmeno also would consider being king of a smaller area if a good spot opened.

The Nigerian system of many kings exists parallel to the elected constitutional central government that has been in place for a decade.

"The modern system is what controls, but they can't do away with the kings because people will not allow it," Ogunmeno said. "The kings have a court, a council of chiefs, and they maintain peace."

The kings also settle domestic matters and other disputes, and they and their chiefs decide who leads a town or village.

All this unfolds in a mix of Christianity and Muslim faiths and native religion, and the faiths sometimes intermix.

"Even when people say they are Christian or Muslim, they still go back to the old religion when there is crisis," Ogunmeno said.

He follows his native faith, showing a tray with a swirling powder on it that is used to predict the future.

"I'm still a student at it," he said, and his future remains unclear.

Even if Ogunmeno does not ascend to the throne, he said he thought of someday buying a home among the Yoruba to live during winters here.

"It doesn't get cold there," he said.


50YearResident 8 years, 5 months ago

I thought all lawyers already thought they were Kings. : )

garyr 8 years, 5 months ago

I think you're onto something Skinny. I recently got an email about this. Where's the super duper email detective crime fighting kid wonder that they did an article about recently?

denak 8 years, 5 months ago

I recently read a book about a young lady who was adopted by a family in West Virginia. When she was in her 20s, she started looking for her birth parents. What she found was that her father was the equivalent of a prince in his native Sierra Leon. When many of the African colonies were colonized, the ruling countries tried to undermine the authority that the native provencial leaders and one of the ways they did it was to downgrade the kings by renaming them chiefs. Prior to that, the kings were the equivalent to any monarch in Europe but on a much smaller regional scale. Unlike European monarchies though, the kingship didn't automatically go to the first born son. The kingship could go to anyone within the paternal line...females included.

So, it is quite possible that this man really is a king.


imastinker 8 years, 5 months ago

This seems pretty common. I have a story about a Chicago lawyer who now thinks he's king.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 5 months ago

"If you want to live in Nigeria leave and don’t dome back, if your loyalty is to a foreign monarchy you re not welcome here."

Of course you are only speaking for yourself. The rest of us who do not feel threatened by African tribal kings and chieftains ruling over third world countries with no army, navy or economy to speak of really aren't freaking out about this.

Sigmund 8 years, 5 months ago

So, will he have to produce his birth certificate to be king?

jonas_opines 8 years, 5 months ago

Where'd you get that quote, oldenuff? Did I miss yet another Invictus incarnation get banninated?

Bridgett Walthall 8 years, 5 months ago

Lol@ skinny. Thanks for the laugh this morning :)

yankeevet 8 years, 5 months ago

That would be a good place for him; over there sittin on his throne...................."I am somebody"

somedude20 8 years, 5 months ago

sounds like it could be a sequel to "Coming to America"

Confrontation 8 years, 5 months ago

Most African men claim to be princes. It's a big scam to get the ladies. They'll claim that they are descendants of kings from a long time ago. There's no current monarchy for most of them. To all the idiots who fall for this: Do some research.

kmat 8 years, 5 months ago

Confrontation - why don't you prove this. ^^^^

Yeah, all the black guys I ever dated claimed this. And one was from Ghana.

Sounds like some racist hogwash.

garyr 8 years, 5 months ago

Giving himself the name of "The King", Elvis got himself quite a few ladies. And, he wasn't African, or a king.

Tom McCune 8 years, 5 months ago

... I think I'd rather be a lawyer in Nigeria than the King of KCK...

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 5 months ago

Some dude I never saw before posted it. Now, his post is gone.

kneejerkreaction 8 years, 5 months ago

The new King of Nigeria needs your help. Please, please help the new king transfer his cache of money (currently being held in a Ruwandan hut & guarded by Kalem, the King's brother-in-law and 4 magic goats) to Nigeria to help his subjects. Send me your bank account, SS #, birthdate &, what the heck, your mother's maiden name.

You will get 10% of the King's fortune left in your bank account as a sign of the King's generosity & gratitude.

Paul R Getto 8 years, 5 months ago

Good luck, sir. You will need it. Pray they don't have newspaper blogs in your country.

jonas_opines 8 years, 5 months ago

I think that's probably confirmation of my guess, Oldenuf. Thanks.

pace 8 years, 5 months ago

The cut ups obviously have no respect for other people's culture or heritage. The prejudice shown speaks to the small and hateful. All of us come from somewhere, all of us have ties to our ancestry and obligations to people that gave sacrifice for our future. We all have opportunities that are greater possibilities, all opportunities have risk and obligations. I found the story interesting, I found the tone of comments disgusting. If the story had the tradition of US military, where the family had served their country for generations and the attorney's choice was to give up a law practice and serve, then we would of shown respect. Instead he had a different ancestry, and it is too non European for our group of clowns. Our country has a lot of different people, too bad some are just unable to accept that.

kneejerkreaction 8 years, 5 months ago

Pace, several comments made fun of lawyers too. Does that offend you as well? Get a life. KCK lawyer may become the King of Nigeria. It's funny! And I don't see one racist or ethnically degrading comment, just comments on the situation.

mom_of_three 8 years, 5 months ago

speaking of the nigerian scam, I got one this morning, in the name of a u.s. military person.
wow, what lengths they won't go to.

kneejerkreaction 8 years, 5 months ago

Mom, I got one once with my brother's name on it as having deceased in Europe and they needed money to ship him back. After that, I got a bunch with the wrong first name, but the right last name, so they must have guessed and got it right the first time. Spooky.

Ricky_Vaughn 8 years, 5 months ago

I'm with pace. Oh well, it's Kansas...and yes, it's as bigoted as I thought.

BigPrune 8 years, 5 months ago

It's rumored Presidente Obama was born in the same hospital.

kneejerkreaction 8 years, 5 months ago

Could we get that hospital to accept a return?

BigPrune 8 years, 5 months ago

You say she is 'young and lovely'......Does she look like Halle Berry? If she does look like Halle Berry, do you think she could be convinced to stay?

just curious :)

Confrontation 8 years, 5 months ago

Hey kmat- Where did I say anything about African American men? Are you that dumb? Oh, and since when did sleeping with a man from Africa make you the expert? Prove it.

yankeevet 8 years, 5 months ago

Its all about da Roots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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