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AN Osun State High Court sitting in Modakeke in Modakeke Area Office has granted the prayer for an amendment to names of the seventh defendant in a writ by members of the Ile Oba Ogunsua royal family against a chieftaincy declaration on the customary law regulating the selection of the Ogunsua of Modakeke.

The amended chieftaincy declaration under Section 4 (2) of the Chief’s Law 2002 had regulated and enforced the selection of the sitting Ogunsua of Modakeke, Oba Moses Oyediran, on the 5th of September, 2009.

The plaintiffs in a suit number HMD/6/2018 between Prince Azees Akinsanya, Prince Ige Oyediran; Prince Sulaiman Ajani; Prince Bashiru Adeyemi and Prince Adegboye Samuel (plaintiffs) and Osun State Government, Governor of Osun State, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice; Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; Chief Moses Oyediran; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and Mr Julius Odegbemi avered that there is only one ruling family in Modakeke.

Earlier, the plaintiffs in a petition dated December 17, 2018, addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Osogbo, Osun State, signed by Prince Ahmed Akinsanya; Prince Bashir Adeyemi; Prince Ahmed Oyedumade and Prince Akanmu Oyewusi; had asked that the 2002 amendment should be repealed.

Meanwhile, the plaintiffs in their letter to the Ministry had stated that there was a need to reject the approval of the amended declaration.

In court on Tuesday, counsel to the defendants, Chief Goke Akinrotimi, called the attention of the court to errors in names of the fifth and the seventh defendants (Oba Oyediran and Mr Odegbemi) as written in the writ where the plaintiffs’ counsel described the monarch as a chief instead of addressing him as Oba and Mr Julius Odegbemi was written in error by the plaintiffs’ counsel as Bisi Odegbemi.

The defendant’s counsel said: “We raised observation on the names of the fifth defendants in person of the Ogunsua of Modakeke and the Chairman of Modakeke Descendants Union. Instead of writing Chief Oyediran, they should have written Oba Moses Oladejo Oyediran but the court has corrected us saying that writing chief instead of Oba doesn’t have anything to do with the merit of the case since my client bears Oyediran.

“But in respect of the 7th defendant, who is Mr Julius Odelola Odegbemi, they wrote Bisi Odegbemi instead. The defendant never had Bisi as his name. Now they have corrected it to read the proper name of the 7th defendant. Now we are ready for hearing.”

Counsel to the plaintiff, Mr Salawu Adekunle, said his clients’ application was aimed at restraining government and other agencies involved in the selection of the Ogunsua from the selection considering the illegality of the action.

Adekunle said: “To a reasonable extent, our motion has thrived but the defendants are contesting the correctness of the names. As you have seen in court today, we have amended the errors on the names orally.

“As it is now, we are prepared. The defendants are just trying to take their time. They are praying to come back to file their defence to our writ together with the counter affidavit to the motion on notice.

“The defendants’ counsel asked us to address the defendants as a king but we have insisted that there is no king in place. As regards injunction, the court has given a date.”

The Judge, Justice A.L. Adegoke, said, the amendment of the error in the name was necessary but whether the plaintiffs addressed the king as a chief or Oba, “is a mere issue of nomenclature and, therefore, does not affect the case in any way.”

The judge adjourned the case to February 26 for hearing.

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