Court adjourns suit to March 16, 2016 for trial
FIFTY years after the assassination of the late Premier of the defunct Western Region, Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, on the day of Nigeria’s first military coup, January 15, 1966, all is not well in the family of the Oloye Aare Ona Kakanfo XIII, as a paternity battle is currently raging to tear the family apart.
A judge of the High Court of Oyo State, Ibadan Division, Justice Ladiran Akintola, has approached the court seeking to be declared a biological son of the late premier, who was one of the founding fathers of modern Nigeria.
The suit, marked No I/451/2013 and filed at the High Court of Oyo State, was previously pending before Justice S.A. Akinteye for pre-trial conference before it was assigned to Justice Eni Esan.
Counsel to the Samuel Ladoke Akintola family, Olaseni Oyefeso, at the pre-trial conference, had challenged the locus standi of Justice Ladiran Akintola (claimant) on the ground that he could not have validly sued as ‘beneficiary’ in the estate of late Chief S.L Akintola, reckoning that it was the subject matter submitted to the court for determination.
In his ruling, Justice Akinteye dismissed the application and consequently, an appeal was lodged at the Court of Appeal against the decision. The suit has, however, been adjourned to March 16, 2016 for trial. The new date, a source from the court told The Guardian, was fixed despite a pending appeal.
The second defendant in the suit and daughter of the late Premier, Dr. Abimbola Akintola, had stated that she had alongside her brother, Bashorun Abayomi Akintola, forwarded a petition to the Chief Judge of Oyo State, requesting a transfer of the suit to another judge on the ground of “likelihood of bias.”
Abimbola, a former Minister of State for Finance, said in the event that the claimant does not refrain from conducting his case on the pages of newspapers, the two surviving children of Chief Akintola in the suit would not hesitate to petition the National Judicial Council alleging misconduct by the High Court judge.
She stressed that her father was an upright man, a devout Christian and an advocate of faithfulness in marriage, who was only married to her late mother, Chief Faderera Abeke Akintola, who begot all his children namely Omodele (deceased), Abayomi, Abimbola (herself), Ladipupo (deceased) and Tokunboh (deceased).