An Osun State High Court presided over by the Chief Judge, Hon Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo, has Friday October 23, 2015 dismissed a suit challenging the competence of Ooni of Ife 1980 Chieftaincy declaration.
This is just as Prince Kayode Adebowale and four others from Akui branch of Oshikola Ruling House, urged the Chief Judge to transfer their case to another judge, saying they can not get fair judgment in her court.
Sooko Adegoke and Prince Marcus Adebola Akimoyero had on behalf of Lafogido Ruling House of Ile-Ife, sued Governor Rauf Aregbesola, the Obalufe of Ile-Ife, Oba Solomon Omisakin (now late) and Lowa of Ife, Chief Joseph Ijaodola on the decision to allow only Giesi Ruling House present the next Ooni.
The plaintiffs are asking for the order of the court to set aside 1980 declaration, saying the declaration was lopsided, unjust, unconstitutional and unfair.
Counsel to the plaintiffs, Mr Soji Oyetayo, sought an order of the court preventing the defendants from embarking on processes to select the new Ooni from Giesi Ruling House because of the allege flaw in the 1980 declaration.
But, respondents contended that it was too late to challenge the declaration after it has been used to produce the late Ooni, Oba Okunade Sijuwade.
Counsel to Governor Rauf Aregbesola who is the first respondent, Mr Wale Afolabi, submitted that the suit filed by the plaintiffs was incompetent after 35 years that the declaration has been made.
Also, Counsel to the second and third defendants, Mr Peter Ogunleye, urged the court to dismiss the suit for lack of incompetence and uphold the 1980 declaration as authentic.
In her ruling, Justice Ojo held that the Ooni Chieftaincy Declaration was made in September 14, 1979 and registered in January 28, 1980, adding that the plaintiffs should have instituted their suit within five years of registration of the declaration.
The Chief Judge however ruled that the suit is grossly incompetent declaring that “the suit and the claim therein are accordingly dismissed.”
In a related development, when the suit HOS/18/2015, Prince Kayode Adebowale and four others against the governor and 11 others was called.
Justice Ojo told the counsel to apply wisdom to the earlier judgment which is a similar case by different ruling house, saying she cannot overrule herself.
The Chief Judge statement however triggered response as Counsel to the plaintiffs, Mr Ranti Ajeleti, urged the Judge to transfer the case to another judge.
According to Ajeleti, his clients are from Akui Branch of Oshikola Ruling House which believed that there is only one ruling house in Ile-Ife and all the princes are qualified and entitled to the stool of Ooni.
However, the Chief Judge has directed the plaintiffs’ counsel to file a formal application for the transfer of the case to another judge.
Earlier before the judgment, Justice Ojo debunked allegation that somebody has collected #10million or 10,000 dollars on her behalf, saying whoever make any false accusation against her will not have peace.
She also advised whoever that has paid money to anybody to go and collect it back, adding “if the person refused to return the money, the Chief Registrar should be reported the case to and the person will suffer for it, even if the person is a judge.
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