Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Court Battle Resumes Over Oba Of Lagos Stool!

THE concerted efforts of the Oniru of Iruland in Lagos, Oba Abiodun Oniru to settle the rift between Oba Rilwan Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos and Princes Sammy Adebiyi and Rasheed Modile over Akiolu ascendency as Oba of Lagos ten years ago has failed again.

Prince Sammy Adebiyi and Prince Rasheed Modile, had, in a Suit No. LD/1215/2003 before Justice Candide-Johnson of High Court of Lagos, challenged the appointment of Oba Rilwan Akiolu as the Oba of Lagos by the kingmakers and the approval of the appointment by Lagos State government.

According to them in their statement of claims, there are two ruling houses in Lagos, the Akinsemoyin ruling house and the Ologunkutere ruling house. These are the two ruling houses that are entitled under customary law of Lagos to present candidates to fill any vacancy for the Oba of Lagos stool.

They argued that since the late Oba Adeyinka Oyekan was from the Ologunkutere ruling house, it should, therefore, be the turn of the Akinsemoyin ruling house to present candidates for the next Oba of Lagos.

They went on further to argue that under the Oba of Lagos Customary Law, Oba Akiolu’s branch of Ologunkutere ruling house is unqualified to succeed late Oba Adeyinka Oyekan. They, therefore, urged the court to declare that the purported selection or appointment of Prince Akiolu as the Oba-elect of Lagos by the kingmakers and the subsequent approval by the Lagos State Executive Council on Thursday, May 22, 2003, was invalid, null and void.

Oba of Lagos in his statement of defence urged the court to dismiss the suit, describing it as misconceived, frivolous, vexatious and embarrassing.

But as the case was going on in court, Oba Abiodun Oniru, the Oniru of Iruland in Lagos, wrote the court that the issues could be settled outside the court. The court agreed to this and directed the parties to explore settlement options initiated by Oba Abiodun Oniru.

But at the resumed hearing on Wednesday, June 25, 2014, Mr. Ezekiel Ashade, the claimants’ lawyer told the court that the parties have failed to meet for possible settlement of the dispute.

Consequently, Justice Candide-Johnson adjourned the matter to October 20, 21 and 22 (2014) for trial.

The tussle over the Obaship of Lagos has been on since 2003, when Oba Rilwan Akiolu was installed as the successor to late Oba Adeyinka Oyekan.

Till today, many believed it is the major cause of the rift between Oba Rilwan Akiolu and Prince Tajudeen Olusi, a prominent APC leader in Lagos State, who many also believed then should have been the next king of Lagos after late Oba Adeyinka Oyekan.

There are insinuations that the opposition of Oba Akiolu to Dr. Obafemi Hamzat as governorship candidate of APC in Lagos State maybe connected to the fact that his father, Oba Mufutau Olatunji Hamzat, the Olu of Afowowa-Sogade in Ewekoro local governmentarea of Ogun State is a very close friend of Princes Tajudeen Olusi with whom they have not seen eye to eye over Obaship in Lagos.

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