A judge, Olusola Aluko who ordered the arrest of a prominent traditional ruler in Osun State, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Akanbi has handed off the case as police did not arrest the monarch since last year that he issued the bench warrant of arrest against Oba Akanbi.
At the court sitting in Osogbo, capital of Osun State, (Friday) Magistrate Aluko announced his decision to hand off the case because of the dimension it has taken.
Counsel to the plaintiff, Mr Soji Oyetayo told the court that he has filed a notice seeking the leave of the court to withdraw the suit because his client has decided to discontinue the case owing to intervention of some eminent Nigerians in Osun State and some Yoruba leaders.
The Magistrate explained that he was not willing to listen to the counsels to the parties in the matter since he has already stepped down the substantive matter.
But counsel to the respondent, Chief Laide Yekini pleaded the Magistrate to listen to him and consider the notice of discontinuance of the matter brought before the court by his colleague.
The Magistrate insisted that he would not entertain the withdrawal of the case and the counsel to the respondent said he wanted the court to record it appropriately that a notice of withdrawal of the case was brought to the court and the judge had refuse to entertain it.
As a result of this, the Magistrate agreed to attend to the application seeking the withdrawal of the suit and the counsel to the plaintiff moved the application.
Thereafter, the counsel to the plaintiff told the court that a tradition ruler, the Olowukuta, Oba Makama Adekunle seek comment on the matter.
Counsel to the respondent did not object the but the Magistrate said he would not put the comments of the monarch on record since he was not a party in the matter.
In his comment, the Olowukuta apologised to the Magistrate over the situation and assured him that the traditional institution in the state holds the judiciary in high esteem, adding that the matter must be handled with care to protect the integrity of both the judiciary and the traditional institution.
In his ruling, Magistrate Aluko said for the sake of consistency, he would not make any pronouncement on the withdrawal of the suit and that he would hand off and refer the case back to the Chief Magistrate for further action.
He adjourned the matter till February 15.
In a chat with Daily Trust after the case, the plaintiff, Oba Akadiri Lamidi Olatunde Adeoye said he withdrew the case because of the intervention of the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and the state governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola who persuaded him to embrace amicable resolution.
It would be recalled that the Oluwo-Oke dragged his brother king, the Oluwo of Iwoland to court over superiority issue between the duo which eventually pitched their subjects against themselves and almost turned violent in the Iwoland and its suburbs.
Source: Daily Trust