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, having admitted that Oba Oluwole, who was crowned as the monarch of the community in 2018, was not a member of the ruling house which turn was, 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 approached the court to challenge the enthronement of Oba Oluwole by the state government.
The kingmakers were also joined in 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 which turn it was to present a candidate to the throne, saying the stool is still vacant.
In a judgement delivered by Justice Ademola Enikuemehin, the court admitted that Oluwole was not a member of the ruling house which turn was to produce the king and also not qualified to be presented as the kingship candidate.
In the judgement, the judge 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.
The judge said, “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 also 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.”