An Ekiti State High Court sitting in Ikole Ekiti, has nullified the selection of Oba Ilesanmi Ajibade as the Owa of Odo Ayedun Ekiti.
The court declared the Claimant, Prince Adekunle Adeniyi, as the validly selected candidate, having participated in the selection process conducted by six kingmakers in the town.
Adeniyi in the suit no: HCL/12/09 filed on July 10, 2013 had approached the court seeking the nullification of the selection of Oba Ajibade (15th respondent) and an order directing the governor to approve the nomination of the claimant.
He also sought a declaration that the appointments of the warrant chiefs (11th to 14th defendants) was illegal.
Joined in the suit as respondents were Pastor Isaac Aluko (1st), Chief Aribisala (2nd), Chief Olu Areola (3rd), Chief Kayode Osho (4th), Chief Amos Jegede (5th) and Miss Oyenike Ojo (6th).
Others include the Secretary, Ikole Local Government (7th), Special Adviser, Chieftaincy Matters (8th), Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice (9th), Governor of Ekiti State (10th) Mr Joseph Oluyi (11th), Mr Aderemi Akinola (12th), Mr Adeniyi Oluyi (13th), Mr Mike Farunmona (14th) and Oba Ilesanmi Ajibade ( 15th respondent)
The claimant called two witnesses during the trial and tendered three Exhibits: a programme of coronation and official presentation of staff of office; a letter from Odo Ayedun kingmakers to the claimant for him to fill the vacant stool, and another letter from the claimant to the late Elekole of Ikole Ekiti, Oba Adeleye Adetunla, who is the supreme head in the area.
According to a copy of the judgment made available to journalists on Wednesday and delivered on June 28, Justice Abiodun Adesodun held that the selection of Oba Ajibade was illegal, null and void.
He added that his selection process during the pendency of the case was in contempt of court.
“The whole exercise , that is the appointment of warrant chiefs, the second nomination exercise of 29th January , 2010 and the appointment of the15th defendant, from the circumstances of this case and the evidence on record is nothing short of an exercise in futility.
“Come to think of it, the 15th defendant was purportedly appointed or elected Owa elect on 29th January, 2010 and his appointment was approved 3rd February 2010 five days after the election contrary to section 13(2) of the Chief Law which stipulated mandatory 21 days, why the hurry in this case?”
“It is hereby declared that the selection of the claimant to fill the vacant stool of Owa of Odo Ayedun is valid and legal. It is equally declared that the notice of intention to set aside the nomination of the claimant to the vacant stool of Owa of Odo Ayedun is illegal, null and void.
“I also grant an order directing the 10th defendant to approve the nomination of the claimant as the Owa of Odo Ayedun, I also declared that the nomination of the 11th -14th defendants as warrant chiefs is null and void.
“I also grant a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their agents, servants, privies or any other person from appointing warrant chiefs or taking any further step to disturb the nomination of the Claimant as Owa of Odo Ayedun. On the whole, the claimant’s action succeeds,” the judge declared.