An Osun State High Court on Friday dismissed the suit filed against the competence of Ife Chieftaincy Declaration of 1980 by the Lafogido Ruling House.
The Lafogido Ruling House had sued Governor Rauf Aregbesola; the Head of Ife Kingmakers, Oba Solomon Omisakin, who died last week; and Lowa of Ife, Chief Joseph Ijaodola, for using the 1980 declaration which prevented candidates of other ruling houses from joining the race to occupy the Ooni stool.
The plaintiffs prayed the court to set aside the 1980 declaration, saying the declaration was “lopsided, unjust, unconstitutional and unfair.”
The defendants prayed the court to dismiss the suit which they said was incompetent.
Justice Adepele Ojo held that the plaintiffs ought to have instituted the case against the chieftaincy declaration within five years after it was registered. The Ife Chieftaincy Declaration was made in September 1979 and was registered in January 28, 1980.
She held that the case was incompetent and dismissed it.
The judge said she could not overrule herself when a similar case with suit number HOS/18/2015, filed by Prince Kayode Adebowale and four others against the governor and 11 others, was called.
The second case filed by the Akui branch of Osinkola Ruling House is similar to the one earlier dismissed by Ojo
Counsel to the plaintiffs, Mr. Ranti Ajeleti, prayed the CJ to transfer the case to another judge.
The Chief Judge directed the plaintiffs’ counsel to file a formal application for the transfer of the case to another judge.
It will be recalled that Ife kingmakers had on September 14 asked the Giesi Ruling House to produce the next Ooni.
Late Oba Omisakin, who said this at a press conference said the kingmakers used the 1980 Ife Chieftaincy Declaration to arrive at the decision to narrow down the selection process to Giesi.
Omisakin said, “We the 16 traditional rulers making up kingmakers by Ife traditional rules and customs hereby unanimously declare and affirm and confirm that the 1980 Ife Chieftaincy Declaration is the one in existence now and we affirm as follows:
“Section 19 subsection a(3) that it is the turn of the Giesi Ruling House to present a candidate/ candidates for the vacant stool of Ooni of Ife Chieftaincy.
Omisakin urged other three ruling houses to wait for their turn, while pleading with the people of the town to maintain peace.