Ogun state high court dismisses nine years case, declares Olugbenle Oba.

On Thursday, an Ogun State High Court in Sagamu dismissed a nine-year lawsuit filed by one Afolabi Dada challenging Oba Kehinde Olugbenle’s installation as the Olu of Ilaro and paramount ruler of Yewaland.

On the basis that Dada, one of the contenders for the Ilaro traditional seat, did not follow proper process, the court dismissed his application.

In 2012, Dada sued the state governor, Oba Olugbenle, five Ilaro kingmakers, the Secretary to the Ilaro Local Government Council, and the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, alleging irregularities in the Olu of Ilaro selection process.

In suit number HCL/6/2012, Dada claimed he was left out of the selection process and asked the court to remove Oba Olugbenle as Ilaro’s traditional ruler.

In suit number HCL/6/2012, Dada claimed he was left out of the selection process and asked the court to remove Oba Olugbenle as Ilaro’s traditional ruler.

In his decision, Justice Ola Owoduni found inconsistencies in the claimant’s evidence.

Dada broke Section 23 of the Chief Law of Ogun State for failing to file a complaint regarding the selection process with the appropriate authorities within 21 days of the activities, according to Justice Owoduni.

Before a chieftaincy dispute could be brought before the court, the judge emphasised that precedent conditions had to be met.

He pointed out that the claimant did not follow the proper procedures before going to court.

The claimant lacked locus standi to file the lawsuit, according to Justice Owoduni.

He said, “When there are precedent conditions that must be followed before coming to court, such conditions must be strictly followed.

“The letter submitted to the governor and presented to the court was submitted 35 days after, as against the 21 days stipulated by Section 23 of the Chief Law of Ogun State.

“The aggrieved party must exhaust all available mechanisms in that law before going to court.

“Exhibit and evidence showed that the claimant participated in the process even when he was claiming to have been sidelined.

“The claimant did not have any locus standi to institute this suit. Having failed to establish this case, there are discrepancies in the evidence of the claimant. There was no evidence that he was sidelined in the selection process.

“He claimed that the kingmakers did not follow the laid down procedure of selecting a king; however, he failed to show the laid down procedure.

“He claimed that the kingmakers changed the location, but he failed to show the location they used.

“Even when he claimed that there were irregularities in the selection and installation of the first defendant, he failed to show where the irregularities in the selection process were.”
Reacting to the judgment, the claimant’s counsel, Olalekan Bolaji, said there were so many people aggrieved by the installation of Oba Olugbenle.

Bolaji asked the court to make the verdict public as quickly as possible so that those who had been wronged would know what to do next.

He added, “This is the judgment that deep inside the first defendant’s heart, they will be thanking their star that it is in their favour.

“I will be praying that this honourable court should not award cost in this matter at all. We have also incurred a lot of expenses. So many people are not happy that he is even the Olu of Ilaro.

“We are equally seeking that the judgment be made available as soon as possible.”

Justice Owoduni responded by awarding the claimant N200,000 in costs and promising to make the ruling available by Monday.

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