An Ibadan High Court yesterday refused a request by Seriki Chiefs to stop installation of High Chief Saliu Adetunji from Balogun line as new Olubadan of Ibadan following the death of Oba Samuel Odulana recently.
The Seriki chiefs, who are currently laying claim to the Olubadan stool, had prayed the court to stop installation of new monarch pending the determination of the substantive suit before it.
Justice Muktah Abimbola, while refusing to restrain the Olubadan-in-Council from installing the new royal father, however, warned that the court would not hesitate to remove the monarch if installed illegally.
The Seriki Chiefs, namely Adebayo Oyediji, Olalekan Fakunle, Rashidi Abinupagun and Gabriel Kofoworola, had sued the Olubadan-in-Council over the emergence of Adetunji as the new monarch and the promotion of some high chiefs to fill the vacant stools caused by the death of two high chiefs from the Balogun and Olubadan lines.
Oyediji, citing Supreme Court judgement of 1985, insisted that with the death of Oba Odulana, he should occupy the stool and not the recently promoted Adetunji from Balogun line.
Counsel to the Seriki Chiefs, Abideen Adeniran, had at the resumed hearing of the suit sought an order of substituted service of all relevant processes on the wall of the office of Olubadan-in-Council. He then moved a motion for an order of interim injunction restraining Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi and the Olubadan-in-Council from installing a new Olubadan.
Adeniran told the court that “we are aware that the defendants have perfected the plan to tamper with the ‘res’ in this case( the Olubadan chieftaincy stool) illegally.” While Justice Abimbola refused to restrain the defendants, he, however, granted the request for substituted service.
Earlier, Adeniran had engaged another lawyer, Mr. Oladepo Abiodun, who applied to the court for joinder.
He said: “My lord, the last time we were here in this court, my learned colleague ( Michael Lana) who represented the defendants said he just took over the case and that he needed to go through all the processes and your lordship allowed him. But, today, they have not filed a single paper. It has been their ploy since we started this case in 2007. That is why I will be opposing this application for joinder. Only one person wants to join now but by next adjourned date, another person will appear. If somebody purposely delays the court, the court cannot just keep on adjourning the case. If this is adjourned, another intervening application will be filed”.
While asking the court to expunge the name of the first defendant, the late Oba Odulana, from the suit through oral application, Lana vehemently opposed Adeniran, arguing that “he must file a motion striking out the names. We still have six names and without an application, they still remain”.
Before adjourning the two cases to March 8, 2016, Justice Abimbola said: “I will consolidate the cases so as to make progress. Chieftaincy issues are very simple. Don’t make a non-controversial issue look controversial. I will raise four issues and then expect your written address. Let us remove the dead from the living.”