Image caption: Prince Kabiru Olaoye (left) and Oba Ghandi Olaoye
Oba Ghandi vs Kabiru Olaoye: High Court to deliver judgement today
Justice Kareem Adeyimika Adedokun the presiding judge of the Oyo State High Court 2 Ogbomoso Judicial Division, will today, October 25, deliver judgement in a case between Oba Ghandi Afolabi Olaoye and Prince Kabiiru Muhammed Olaoye.
Justice Adedokun had reserved judgement in the case during sitting on October 3. Prince Kabir Olaoye in July 2022, dragged then Prince Ghandi Olaoye to the court over his nomination as Soun of Ogbomosoland by the Ogbomoso kingmakers.
The defendants include the Oyo state governor, Oyo state attorney general, Oyo state commissioner for local government and chieftaincy matters, Ogbomoso North local government, Ogbomoso North traditional council and Prince Amos Olawole Olaoye (Mogaji Olaoye ruling house) who are 1st to 6th defendants respectively.
The 7th to 11th defendants are the kingmakers – Chief S.O. Otolorin (Areago of Ogbomoso and chairman), Chief Salawu Ajadi (Jagun), Chief Tijani Abioye (Bara), Cheif David Adeniran Ojo (Ikolaba) and Chief Yusuf Kasali Oladipupo (Abese) while Prince Ghandi Olaoye, the Soun nominee, is the 12th defendant.
Prince Kabiru Olaoye claimed the process that produced Ghandi was flawed. Kabiru’s team of lawyers, Oladapo Dapo Atanda, Abiodun Ogunjinmi, Clara Okwusid and Felix Ogunwoye in the case marked HOG/27/2022 therefore prayed the court to overturn the nomination and order a fresh process.
Claiming that the regulations guiding the nomination to fill the vacant stool of Soun Chieftaincy Ogbomoso including the Soun Chieftaincy Declaration (1958), Ogbomoso District Native Authority Resolution (1953) and Oyo state Chiefs Law (2000) were grossly violated, the plaintiff seeks relief that the procedure for Ghandi’s nomination was inconclusive on the ground that a minority committee performed the task instead of the whole members of the family.
Also, he wants the court to declare that the active participation of the 4th defendant (Ogbomoso North local government) in the process leading to the emergence of Ghandi Olaoye rather than being mere observer invalidated the process.
He consequently prayed for “an order of this Honourable Court directing the 1st – 11th defendants to commence the process of nomination and appointment of candidate to fill the vacant stool of Soun of Ogbomoso afresh in strict compliance with the Chiefs Law of Oyo state (2000), Soun of Ogbomoso Chieftaincy Declaration of 1958 and the Annual Volume of the Legislation of the Western Region of Nigeria.”
However, the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 12th defendants’ counsels – Kolawole Fatoye, Olalekan Oguntoye and O.E. Igene – in their counter-claims told the court that the processes that led to the selection of Ghandi were in line with Soun Chieftaincy Declaration and other customary laws and so urged the court to “dismiss the claim and grant the counter claim” filed. They noted that “all the procedure as itemized above clearly showed that the 12th defendant was duly nominated by the Laoye ruling house and selected by the kingmakers.”
It was further asserted the plaintiff filed “this action because the selection did not favour him having participated along with others in the nomination and selection exercise.”
ogbomosoinsightonline.com recalls that following the transition of the former occupant of the Soun stool, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III, on December 12, 2021, about 25 candidates from Olaoye ruling house that is to produce the next Soun indicated interest in filling the vacancy.
However, on March 22, 2022, the kingmakers selected Prince Ghandi and subsequently forwarded his name to the Oyo state government. This was challenged in court notably by Princes Taofeeq Olaoye and Kabiru Olaoye.
But while the court dismissed the suit by Taofeeq Olaoye on October 3, 2023, judgement was reserved for today in the second suit.
Meanwhile, the Oyo state government granted approval to the nomination of Prince Ghandi on September 2, 2023, following which he was installed on September 8 by the kingmakers led by the Areago High Chief Sobalaje Otolorin.