The Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Munta Abimbola, on Friday, ordered parties in a suit filed by Senator Lekan Balogun and seven others, contesting the validity of a consent judgment given by a state high court on November 19, 2019 in suit M/317/2017, as part of efforts to resolve the crisis that trailed the elevation of some high chiefs in Ibadan, to file their further written addresses to narrow down their arguments.

Though the case was originally scheduled for ruling, Justice Abimbola stated that there were some ambiguities in the many processes filed in the suit delineated I/22/2020, adding that this necessitates the need for further clarifications in terms of address.

Justice Abimbola explained that the claims and counterclaims filed by parties in the matter are about 3446 pages since November 1, 2021, when the case came before the court for a determination on the validity of the consent judgment.

He however cautioned all counsels to ensure their addresses stay within the ambit of the law and not deviate from laid down principles of practice and points of law. He frowned at the development where lawyers now do analysis on the facts of a case before the court in public places, adding that it is not a good practice that letters written by lawyers are flying about on social media on a matter that is pending before the court.

He urged counsels to desist from such acts, stating that as ministers in the court of justice, they are to calm tension and not add to a festering matter, emphasising the need to stop talking about issues before the court and desecrating the hallowed temple of the judiciary.

Senator Lekan Balogun and seven others have filed a suit against the Governor of Oyo State and five others, asking the court to determine whether the terms of settlement of consent judgment in suit m/317/ 2017 between Chief Rashidi Ladoja Vs the Governor of Oyo State of November 19, 2019, did not prejudice and negatively affect their interests.

They further asked the court to determine whether the terms of settlement and consequent judgment in respect of vested legal interests of third parties have not been fraudulently and prejudicially divested them of their rights and interests vested in them to wear beaded crowns and coronet titles by virtue of Gazette No 14, Vol 42 of August 23, 2017; No 15, Vol 42 of August 24, 2017, and No 3, Vol 43 of March 2018.

Also, they asked the court to determine whether the consent judgment is not null and void having fraudulently deprived the claimants who were not parties to the suit of their rights and interest vested in them by the gazette and whether it is not null and void, having been obtained by fraud and concealment of facts.

The High Chiefs also asked the court to determine whether the terms of settlement is not irregular, fraudulent and deceptive, rendering the consent judgment a nullity.

They finally asked for a declaration of a court order that the consent judgment is not binding in law and enforceable against those who are not parties to the terms of settlement and suit and is consequently null and void as well as an injunction restraining government and its agencies from disturbing them from the enjoyment of the rights and privileges conferred on them by law and by virtue of various instruments purportedly set aside or annulled on account of the consent judgment.

Written By Obioma Ezenwobodo Esq

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