From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The palace of Onpetu of Ijeru, Oba Sunday Oladapo Oyediran Lagbami Osekun III, in Ogbomoso South Local Government of Oyo State, has described as a hoax the news that the monarch was deposed by the state High Court, sitting in Ogbomoso.
The palace insisted that the case adjudicated by Justice K.A. Adedokun did not involve Oba Oyediran: “It was a case instituted by Chief Adeleke Lawal, the Baale Ijeru, until 1998 against Oba Oyediran’s immediate predecessor, Oba Yusufu Abidoye Mobolade (first respondent), the then military governor of Oyo State (second respondent), and the then Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Oyo in the state (third respondent).”
The court had in the latest judgment ordered the traditional ruler to stop parading himself as the “paramount ruler of Ijeru Quarters”, Ogbomoso. The judgment followed a litigation instituted by Chief Popoola Olaniyi Elijah against Chief Oladapo, the governor and the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice over the chieftaincy stool of Ijeru.
Elijah had told the court that the second and third defendants did not appeal an earlier judgment delivered by Justice T. A. Ayorinde on April 24, 1987, which removed the first defendant from the chieftaincy stool.
However, the palace, which spoke through Segun Adedayo, in a statement made available to Daily Sun said: “The first judgment in the case was delivered on April 21, 1987, by Justice Ayorinde of Oyo State High Court, Ogbomoso Division, and was in favour of the claimant. But Oba Mobolade, who was not satisfied with the judgment, took the case to the Court of Appeal, Ibadan Division, in the suit CA/IB/96/88.
“All necessary processes were completed and the parties in case were waiting for adoption of processes they filed, before both the appellant and respondent died.
“On February 13, 1999, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN), appearing for the respondent moved the Court of Appeal to the fact that both the appellant and the respondent are dead, being chieftaincy matter that the appeal be determined. In the ruling by Justice M.O Onalaja J.C.A, we quote; ‘from the briefs, the issue before the Court of Appeal is a chieftaincy matter.
“‘We are of the view, following decided authorities of the Supreme Court and this court that chieftaincy matter is personal action, and does not survive the death of the parties, more also when the action was not instituted in a representative capacity, based on Oyeyemi vs Commissioner for Local Government of Kwara State 1992 NWLRT270 page 462, SC Chief RITWHITE and 5 ORS. Chief Gordon Borbon JOW YOUNG JACK 1996 2 NWLRT43, page 467 CA, we therefore strike out this appeal being personal action, it does not survive the estate. We make no order of costs.’
“Consequently, since a litigant is bound by the words and actions of his lawyer, if Chief Popoola Olaniyi Elijah (the third successor to the original plaintiff, Chief Adeleke Lawal), is dissatisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeal, the next place for him to go is the Supreme Court, not Oyo State High Court.
“In view of the above submission, suit HOG/24/21 between Chief Popoola Olaniyi Elijah (for himself and on behalf of the other members of the Ijeru) chieftaincy family of Ogbomoso) and Chief Sunday Oyediran Oladapo (for himself and other members of the Onpetu chieftaincy family of Ogbomoso and others), upon which the purported deposition of Oba Sunday Oyediran (not Chief Sunday Oyediran Oladapo sued by the claimant) is based, is not supposed to be entertained by Justice K.A Adedokun in the first instance.
“However, since in his wisdom, he decided to review and reverse a case that had been adjudicated by the Federal Court of Appeal, we have decided to go back to the Court of Appeal rather than joining issues” with anyone.