Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
A high court sitting in Abeokuta on Tuesday ordered that the appointment of 75 Coronet Obas reversed by the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, be maintained pending the determination of the suit against the state government.
The previous state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, had on May 13, 2019, confirmed the appointment and upgrading of some community chiefs to Coronet Obas.
The appointment was, however, reversed by Dapo Abiodun administration on February 6, 2020.
In his ruling on the interlocutory injunction filed by the 75 traditional rulers through their counsel, Olumide Oniyire, on Tuesday, Justice AA Akinyemi, ruled that the status quo of the appointment of the traditional rulers be maintained.
Justice Akinyemi explained that the relationship that existed between the claimants and the defendants prior to the termination of their appointments and promotions on February 6 should be maintained pending determination of the suit before the court.
Earlier, Oniyire had accused the state government of allegedly intimidating and assaulting the claimants from presenting themselves as native rulers.
The counsel argued that hostility towards the demoted 75 traditional rulers began after the revocation of their appointment by the state government on February 6.
He prayed the court to grant the interlocutory injunction and order that the status quo remains until the court determines the legalities of the appointments.
‘The claimants were sacked and, despite the fact that the case is still in court, the defendant has been harassing, intimidating and embarrassing the claimants at their various communities where they reign,’ Oniyire said.
‘Chieftaincy cases are very sensitive matters. We expected that the defendants should have waited until the determination of the case.
‘We are applying for accelerated hearing of the case and we pray that the status quo before the letter of revocation should remain and be maintained,’ Oniyire pleaded.
Defence counsel OA Dankuwo urged the court to give them a date to file their processes.
Dankuwo argued that the status quo should be maintained after the revocation of the appointment of the Coronet Oba.
According to her, the proper time to maintain the status quo should be at the time of the revocation.
‘The act has already been done before they came to court and as such the status quo should be after the revocation of appointments,’ the defence counsel argued.
The case has been adjourned to July 7 for further hearing.