The Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan has adjourned the two cases separately instituted against the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, and others by the Osi Olubadan of Ibadan land, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, and the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, until October 11, 2017.
The cases were filed to challenge the authority of the governor to install 21 kings in Ibadan land as recommended by a chieftaincy review commission he set up.
When the two cases came up before Justice Olajumoke Aiki on Wednesday, a number of court processes that had not been filed made her to adjourn the cases soon after the sitting began.
Ladoja is challenging the constitution of the Justice Boade commission that did the chieftaincy review and to set any decision from it aside. Joined in the case is Justice Akintunde Boade, who was the chairman of the review commission.
Counsel for Ladoja, Michael Lana, said that he had to overlook the fact that counsel for the defendant did not serve him an application for a change of counsel in order to avoid delay.
He said, “As far as I am concerned, what they are doing is delay tactics which I do not want to encourage. But the new legal team said they still have some processes to be filed on behalf of the governor and Justice Boade.
“As far as we are concerned, the Attorney General of the state has filed all the processes needed to be filed on their behalf. They should do so before October 11, 2017. We are ready to meet them so that we can fix a date for definite hearing. It is unfortunate that the whole exercise is leading to a chaos that was avoidable.”
In the suit filed on September 19, 2017 by the Olubadan against Ajimobi and 23 others, the monarch is asking the court to set aside the installation of the 21 kings because Ajimobi does not possess the power and authority to confer anybody with the right to wear a beaded crown and coronet.
The Olubadan is also claiming that the crowning of the kings is illegal and void since the governor did not consult with the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs. The Olubadan is seeking an order setting aside the Gazette number 14 and 15 of Volume 42 of August 23 and 24, 2017 made by the governor and which conferred the right to wear crown and coronet on the elevated high chiefs and baales.
When the cases came up on Wednesday, it was discovered that the newly promoted baales, who are now kings, were not represented in court because they claimed that they were not served. But the Olubadan legal team succeeded in moving an application for substituted service.
The monarch counsel, Niyi Ajewole, said, “The court processes must be served on them. They had been refusing to be served intentionally. We have no choice to bring an application to court to grant another means of serving them. It was granted that the service should be pasted on the Oyo State High Court notice board. If we are unable to serve them, the case will not proceed.”
Ajewole added that because of what was happening in the city, especially with the attack by gunmen on Olubadan palace, the monarch was weary of what was going on and was calling for the need to protect him through an interlocutory injunction, pending when the service was done on the other party in the case.
The state Attorney General, Oluseun Abimbola, said the cases were adjourned to ensure that the normal processes were observed.
“In the case filed by Ladoja, there were a few preliminary issues that had not been trashed out; that was why the court adjourned till another date,” he said.