Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has been called upon to halt the Saturday coronation of Chief Dele Owoniyi as the new Obaro of Kabba to avoid a breakdown of law and order.
In a press statement made available to newsmen, in Lokoja and signed by the heads of the three ruling houses of the Ilajo Royal family, it said the planned coronation and presentation of staff of office was a clear affront to the rule of law and a gross negation to natural justice as the case was still pending before a competent court of jurisdiction.
The three heads of the ruling houses, who jointly signed the press statement, were Chief Stephen Ojo Bebeyi , Chief Paul Toluhi and Chief Mark Olowosayo for the Ajibohokun, Ajinuhi and Mokelu ruling houses respectively.
The statement said “inasmuch as the Ilajo Royal family has taken the announcement of Chief Owoniyi which it said was not from a royal family peaceful, the governor should not allow himself to be coerced into presenting the staff of office to him when the court has not made final pronouncement over the case.
The statement recalled that “shortly after the announcement of Owoniyi by the state government as the Obaro, the Ilajo Royal family vehemently rejected the choice and made this known to the government which in turn turned a deaf ear to their grievance.”
Based on this, it said the “Royal family had no alternative than to head to the court for redress which subsequently granted an order restraining the Chief from parading himself as the Obaro and the state government from taking further action on the case.”
The statement also said at no time did the Ilajo Royal family withdrew from the pursuit of the case as being bandied around stressing that the family was prepared to lawfully and peacefully pursue the case till logical conclusion.
It further stressed that when the case came up for mention in the court, it “discovered a technical error which led to the withdrawal of the earlier motion by Counsels to the claimant which was subsequently substituted with a better and more comprehensive motion which has been served on all the concerned parties in the case now pending in court.”
The statement, therefore, called on the state government not to allow political consideration to override sensitive issue like culture and chieftaincy affairs and advised the government not to do anything that may provoke any interested party in the case nor impinge the smooth flow of justice over the matter.