Appeal Court upholds Ekiti monarch’s installation
Victor Akinkuolie, Ado-Ekiti
The Appeal Court sitting in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday struck out a suit challenging the installation of Alawo of Awo Ekiti, Oba Abdulazees Olaleye, saying the process of his selection didn’t contravene the Ekiti State Chieftaincy Law.
The Appeal court also awarded N50,000 cost against the appellants, who were representatives of Aladejuyigbe ruling house and the Oba’s opponents .
The appellants were: Ebenezer Aladejuyigbe, Alex Aladejuyigbe, Adedipe Aladejuyigbe, Folarin Aladejuyigbe, Kolade Aladejuyigbe and Gbeminiyi Aladejuyigbe.
Joined in the suit were: Governor Kayode Fayemi, Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government, Mr. Gabriel Alake, Azees Suleimon Olaleye and three others.
The three-man Appeal Court justices upheld the judgement of the trial judge, Justice Emmanuel Omotoso, delivered on October 7, 2015 , where he struck out the appellant’s case for lack of merit.
In his judgement , Justice Paul Obi Elechi, said :”Having gone through the judgement of the lower court and the submissions of the counsels to both parties, I agree with the learned trial judge that he lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the action initiated by the appellants.
“All the issues in this appeal are here resolved in favour of the respondents and against the appellants. This appeal therefore fails for lacking in merit and it is hereby dismissed.
“The ruling of the lower court is hereby upheld. Cost of N50,000 is awarded against the appellants “, he said.
Following the installation of Oba Olaleye as the new Alawo, some aggrieved members went to court claiming that rotation was not followed and that the monarch was not a member of the Aladejuyigbe ruling house.
The grouse of the appellants , which formed the basis for the appeal were: *that the respondents’ application before the lower court amounted to demurer.
*That the appellants were not afforded fair hearing before the lower court and that the lower court ought not to have dismissed the case.
During the trial, the principal plaintiffs(Oba Olaleye and Ekiti State Government), said the fact that the government exercised the provisions of section 11(2) of the Chiefs Law , cap 5, laws of Ekiti State to normalise the selection process didn’t amount to infringement.
The law stipulated:”That a ruling house in respect of the Chieftaincy which alleges that the proper order of rotation has not been observed or has other reasons why appointment shall not be approved, and the aggrieved can make representatives to the executive council within 21 days and the earlier appointment will be set aside”.
Oba Olaleye complained to government having been allegedly sidelined in the selection process by Aladejuyigbe ruling house and the govetnment ordered another selection process, which led to his emergence.