Oba Ghandi: Court dismisses suit, reserves judgment for October 25 on another
It was a s tense situation Tuesday at the Oyo High Court sitting at Oke-Ado, Ogbomoso as the court dismisses the three reliefs sought by one of the litigants, Prince Adeyemi Taofiq Akorede Olaoye, challenging the nomination of then Prince Ghandi Afolabi Olaoye as Soun of Ogbomoso by the kingmakers.
However, in the second suit, instituted by Prince Kabir Olaoye judgement was reserved for October 25.
The three reliefs sought by Prince Taofiq Olaoye in suit no. HOG/20/2022, with Pastor Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye; Governor of Oyo state; Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Oyo state; Hon. Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Oyo state; Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Oyo state; Ogbomoso North Local Government; Chief S Otolorin (JP) (Areago of Ogbomosoland); Chief Salawu Ajadi (Jagun of Ogbomosoland); Chief Tijani Abioye (Bara of Ogbomosoland); Chief David Adeniran Ojo (Ikolaba of Ogbomosoland) and Chief Yusuff Kasali Oladipupo (Abese Of Ogbomosoland) as first to 11th defendants, were dismissed by Justice Kareem Adeyimika Adedokun, the presiding judge.
The three reliefs including orders of “interlocutory injunction restraining the 6th to 11th defendant from proclaiming Ghandi as heir to the throne or for him to be parading himself as such or any rite (s) being performed in respect of the throne pending the determination of the subject matter in the suit, and an order restraining government from approving Ghandi as the appointed candidate to fill the vacant stool and ascend the throne and/or install or present staff of office to him.”
Prince Taofeeq Olaoye then sought declarations that he is the only lawful suitable candidate to fill the vacant stool and ascend the throne in accordance with “the laws, norms and custom on ascending the throne of Soun of Ogbomosoland,” an order that Ghandi having come from the same section, Ile Kaape of Olaoye ruling house that produced Oba Oke Olanipekun, the last Soun produced by Olaoye ruling house, is not equitably qualified as candidate to fill the vacant stool in this present time, and an order that the procedure that produced him as candidate is “wrong, improper and invalid,” and so wants an order setting aside his appointment by the 6th to 11th defendant, an order that “a warrant kingmaker or warrant chief be nominated and approved by the 2nd to 6th defendant within seven (7) working days to fill the vacuum of late Balogun of Ogbomosoland, High Chief Shittu Fasina Ilori who died on the 15th day of February, 2022, to join the existing five (5) kingmakers on Soun of Ogbomoso chieftaincy to consider the claimant as candidate for appointment as the person to fill the vacant stool and ascend the throne of Soun of Ogbomosoland” and finally “an order directing the 2nd to 11th defendant to appoint, approve and install the claimant as the new Soun of Ogbomosoland.”
The claimant further argued that his father, Pa Alhaji Abdulfatai Olalekan Olaoye, being “the present Aremo and head of family of Olaoye Ruling House of Ogbomosoland,” ought to be the automatic candidate to fill the vacant stool or be given the privilege to nominate a person as proxy to fill the vacant chieftaincy stool in his stead.
However, delivering judgement Justice Adedokun noted the kingmakers formed quorum saying in accordance with “the 1953 Soun declaration law, at least four members of the kingmakers must be present at the deliberations and nomination of Soun. So, the quorum was duly followed,” and as such he posited there was no need to appoint a warrant chief in place of the late Balogun who died before the kingmakers considered the nomination.
The Judge also asserted that the process through which the selection of Prince Ghandi was premised is “valid, proper and legal,” just as he dismissed the prayer of eligibility on the ground that the claimant’s father is the only eligible candidate.
In the suit by Prince Mohammed Kabir Olaoye marked HOG/27/2022, also challenging the nomination of Prince Ghandi Olaoye on various grounds such as irregularities in the procedures that produced him and consequently praying the court to among other reliefs set aside the nomination and to order a fresh process, Justice Adedokun after the counsels argued their applications set October 25 as day to deliver judgment.