Separate from the main continent both physically and politically, Ioas is ran by Four Anonymous Lords, known as the Ioan Lords
The Lords of Ioas operate in secret, the identities of them known to absolutely no-one, even the other Lords. This was established at the founding of the cities independence, so that if one of the Lords tried to take over the city they would not know who they need to take power from and also to prevent criminals/terrorists/Sibant agents from trying to take over the city themselves.
Being selected as a Lord is done by a ritual at the Jehut Academy, anyone living in the city could be selected, provided they fit the criteria.
The criteria itself was decided in secret when the city became independent and remains this way so no interference is possible.
When the Lords make a ruling on an issue, law or matter that concerns them it is derived, magically, to the head of the City Guard, who will then pass the information on to his/her guard captains who then spread the word around.