Thirteen Ibadan Baales who are recently elevated to Obaship status by Governor Abiola Ajimobi are to pay the sum of N10, 000 as cost.
Justice Olajumoke Aiki of Court 10 of the Oyo State High Court sitting at Ring road, Ibadan on Monday awarded the cost of N10, 000 against the 13 Baales recently elevated to the position of Obas in Ibadan in a suit delineated I/1077/2017, instituted by the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, against the Oyo state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
Other defendants in the suit are the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, the eight elevated high chiefs and the 13 elevated Baales, to contest the recent reform following the report of the Justice O.A Oyeboade panel and subsequent coronation of 21 Obas in Ibadan.
Justice Aiki also awarded the cost of N25, 000 against Justice O.A Boade, who is the second defendant in a suit filed by the Osi Olubadan of Ibadan land and former governor in the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, against the governor and Justice Boade, asking the court to determine whether the governor has the requisite power to elevate Obas based on Justice Boade’s panel report.
The court had awarded the cost following the application of the counsel to the Olubadan, Alhaji Ajewole, who asked for a cost of N25, 000 following the application and consequent withdrawal of a Notice of Preliminary Objection earlier filed before the court by counsel to the Baales, Kunle Sobaloju, who applied to withdraw the process and file another one.
Ajewole had argued that he had replied the said process and had spent money on filing and other exigencies in getting the processes before the court
The court in its ruling held that since the claimant counsel had responded to the application, the Baales must pay for the inconvenience and granted Sobaloju’s second application for extension of time to file his defense to the Interlocutory Objection filed by the counsel to the Olubadan.
When former governor Ladoja’s suit against governor Ajimobi and Justice Boade was called, counsel to the governor, Mallam Yusuf Alli, had informed the court that it has an application for an extension of time to file its defense and a separate counter affidavit and the order was granted since the claimant’s counsel, Michael Lana, had no objection.
He also applied to amend the counter affidavit against the originating summons of the claimant and Lana also did not object but noted that the withdrawal of the earlier process had taken steam out of his own application.
The Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Seun Abimbola, who is the counsel to Justice Boade also informed the court that he wanted to withdraw some processes that he filed earlier; Notice of Preliminary Objection, the counter affidavit in support of the notice and written addresses in support of the two processes.
Abimbola explained that he wanted to withdraw the processes because it was filed on behalf of the two defendants; Senator Ajimobi and Justice Boade while he was their counsel, adding that since the governor now had his separate counsel, he cannot represent him with the process again.
Lana had at this point asked the court to award the cost of N100, 000 against Justice Boade as he had expended energy filing replies and processes to the document being withdrawn and the court granted his application by awarding N25, 000 as cost.
Lana had further applied that all processes be taken together at the next hearing as the case was very urgent and sensitive, adding that they had been on the matter for four months and the case needs to move expeditiously but Mallam Alli and the Attorney General had however objected this application on the ground that the processes are based on diverse issues and the preliminary objection to jurisdiction must be dispensed first.
The Attorney General had added that there is no urgency in the issue that will make the court lump unrelated processes together, adding that the case was on for four months now at the instance of the defense.
According to him, the case had moved around four different courts within four months based on petitions from the claimants and cannot be said to be the fault of the defense.
The case was adjourned till December 13, 2017 for the hearing of Pending notices of Preliminary Objection.