The Ondo State High Court sitting in Ondo town, has ordered the deposition of the Olu-Oke of Oke-Igbo in the Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo Local Government of the state, Oba Babajide Oluwole.
The court nullified the appointment of the traditional ruler on the basis that he was not a member of the Aare Kugbaigbe Ruling House, whose turn was to produce the king as of 2018 when he ascended the stool.
Two princes from the Aare Kugbaigbe Ruling House, Rufus Adekanye and Temitope Adeoye, Head and Secretary of the House, respectively, had approached the court to challenge the enthronement of Oba Oluwole by the state government. The kingmakers also joined the suit.
According to the suit filed by their lawyer, Mr Sola Ebiseni, the claimants claimed that the defendant was not a member of the Aare Kugbaigbe Ruling House, whose turn was to produce the king.
In a judgment delivered by Justice Ademola Enikuemehin, the court affirmed that Oluwole was not a member of the Aare Kugbaigbe Ruling House and was also not qualified to be presented as a candidate for the stool.
The judge held that “under and by virtue of the Oke-Igbo Declaration contained in Part Two of Justice Adeloye’s Judicial Commission of Inquiry on Chieftaincy Matters, only members of the Aare Kugbaigbe Ruling House of the male lineage are qualified to be proposed as 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’s 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 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 restrained Oba Oluwole from “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 accord(ing) to the fifth defendant the recognition, rights, and privileges of the Olu-Oke of Oke-Igbo.”