A suit filed by the Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland and former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, against the review of Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration, has yet again witnessed another transfer to a new judge.
At the resumed hearing of the matter on Tuesday, Justice M.I Sule of the Oyo State High Court transferred the case to the Chied Judge saying that she would not want to start a case she would not be able to finish before the court proceeded on vacation on September 12.
She explained that she had two rulings pending before her and they must be dispensed before vacation. She said the Chief Judge knows what to do.
This is the second time the case will transfered from one judge to another. The matter was earlier assigned to Justice Diran Akintola, who allegedly refused to hear an ex parte application meant to stop the panel from sitting. The development forced Ladoja to petition the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.
The case was re-assigned to Justice Sule following Onnoghen’s intervention. Justice Sule on August 21 heard contempt charge against Governor Ajimobi and Justice Akintunde Boade who chaired the review panel.
Lead counsel to Ladoja, Michael Lana, at the resumed hearing of the matter on Tuesday, accused the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Oluwaseun Abimbola of intentionally delaying the timeous filing of the necessary processes in order to pave way for the installation of the new obas.
Lana told the court that the defendant had gone ahead to issue letters of appointment to the 21 obas and “purportedly held a coronation ceremony which was heavily advertised and shown live on television.”
He said all the actions the governor had taken on the matter constituted acts of contempt which the court had condemned in several instances, submitting that such must not be allowed to go unpunished.
In his reaction however, Abimbola argued that an amendment of the reliefs being sought by the claimant which, he said, structurally affected the originating summons informed the delay in filing some processes.
He said the contempt application filed by Ladoja’s lawyer was based on sentiment, advising the claimant’s counsel not to give the impression that the state High Court was winding down because of annual vacation.