A High Court in Ondo State has deposed a first class traditional ruler, Oba Babajide Lawrence Oluwole, the Oluoke of Oke-Igbo in the Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo Local Government Area of the State.
The State High Court was said to have nullified the monarch’s appointment, having admitted that he was not a member of the Kugbaigbe Ruling House, which is to produce the king to fill the then-vacant stool of the town.
Two princes from the Aare Kugbaigbe Ruling House, Rufus Adekanye and Temitope Adeoye, Head and Secretary of the House respectively, had challenged the appointment of the monarch by the state government in court. The Kingmakers in the town were also joined in the suit.
In the suit filed by their Counsel, Olusola Ebiseni, the plaintiffs revealed that the defendant was not a member of the Aare Kugbaigbe Ruling House which turn was to present a candidate to the throne, saying the stool is still vacant.
Justice Ademola Enikuemehin in his ruling, admitted that Oluwole was not a member of the ruling house which turn was to produce the king.
He therefore ordered that “the Olu-Oke of Oke-Igbo Chieftaincy in the Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo Local Government Area of Ondo State is subject to the Declaration in Part two of Justice Adeloye Judicial Commission Of Inquiry On Chieftaincy Matters and the Chiefs Law CAP 27 Volume 1 Laws of Ondo State 2006.”
He stated further that “Under the Olu-Oke of Oke-Igbo Declaration contained in Part Two of Justice Adeloye Judicial Commission Of Inquiry On Chieftaincy Matters, eligibility to the throne is restricted to the descendants of (1) Odo Eleyowo (2) Aare Kugbaigbe (3) Kuole Oloje (4) Aderin Ologbenla (5) Ajibike Adedimeji of the male linage who is thus constituted as the five Ruling Houses of the Chieftaincy.
“Under and by virtue of the Oke-Igbo Declaration contained in Part Two of Justice Adeloye Judicial Commission Of Inquiry On Chieftaincy Matters, only members of the said Aare Kugbaigbe Ruling House of the male linage are qualified to be proposed as the candidate(s) and be made an Oba at the turn of the Ruling House.
“Under the Olu-Oke of Oke- Igbo Declaration contained in Part Two of Justice Adeloye Judicial Commission Of Inquiry On Chieftaincy Matters, it is the turn of the Are Kugbaigbe Ruling House, to present candidate(s) to fill the now vacant stool of the Olu-Oke of Oke-Igbo Chieftaincy.
“The fifth defendant (Oba Oluwole), not being a descendant of the Aare Kugbaigbe is not a member of the Aare Kugbaigbe Ruling House and therefore not qualified under the declaration to be proposed as a candidate for the vacant stool of or be made the Olu-Oke of Oke-Igbo.”
The court equally gave an injunction restraining “the fifth defendant from or further parading himself or allowing himself to be paraded as or accorded the rights and privileges pertaining to the person, title and office of the Olu-Oke of Oke-Igbo.
It restrained the defendants “jointly and severally from parading as or further according to the fifth defendant the recognition, rights and privileges, of the Olu-Oke of Oke-Igbo.”