From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
A Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on Tuesday, fixed April 26 as the date for hearing of a suit on the forceful hijacking of the remains of the monarch of Alaye Aba of Aba, Aiyepe, Oba Rauf Raji-Sulaiman, by members of the Osugbo Secret Society.
The suit was filled by the three daughters of the late native ruler – Mrs Aderonke Egunjimi, Mrs Tiwalade Abass and Mrs Adeyemi Joseph – who are seeking the court’s order to declare the action of the members of the Osugbo Secret Society as unlawful, a violation of their fundamental human rights and a request for payment of damages caused to the family by their action.
When the matter came up for mentioning before Justice Muhammad Shittu Abubakar on Tuesday, counsel to the applicants Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, told the court that he had been unable to serve some of the parties involved in the matter.
Ayorinde added that he had served the court process on only six out the 16 respondents based on verifiable addresses, while the 10 others would be served through a substituted service, praying the court to accept the method as being dully served.
Joined in the suit are fifteen members of the Osugbo society of Ijebuland and the Ijebu Traditional Council as the 16th respondent.
Ayorinde emphasised that the need to tender the prayer became exigent so that the respondents through their counsel would not feign ignorance of being dully served in the near future.
Responding, defense counsel Sola Opeodu did not object and the court granted the prayer.
In his ruling, Justice Abubakar held that the court was satisfied with the application, describing it as ‘meritorious’.
The judge granted the order as prayed by the applicants’ counsel.
Abubakar, however, adjourned the matter till April 26 for the hearing.