Contempt: Magistrate orders police commissioner to arrest, detain Osun monarch, Oluwo

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An Osun State Magistrate Court has ordered the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fimihan Adeoye, to arrest and produce a monarch, Oluwo of Iwo, Oba AbdulRasheed Adewale Akanbi, in court on Friday January 6, 2017.

Magistrate Olusola Aluko gave the order when the case came up on Friday at the Osogbo Magistrate court.

The magistrate who frowned on the police commissioner for reportedly denying that the court had issued a bench warrant of arrest against the monarch, ordered him to arrest and keep the monarch in police cell till the adjourned date.

Counsel to the applicant, Mr. Soji Oyetayo, had informed the court that counsel to the accused monarch sent a letter that the Oluwo would not appear before Magistrate Aluko in person.

Apparently furious over the monarch’s refusal to comply with his order, Aluko described the police commissioner’s claim of ignorance about the court’s order as a joke, asking him to ensure the arrest and detention of Oba Akanbi until the adjourned date.

While delivering his ruling, Aluko said, “I am baffled that the CP is claiming ignorance of the court order. It must be a joke of the century. I am not joking with my order. My order remains my order.

“I personally read and watched it on Channels Television on Friday 23rd of December 2016. Then on Monday 26th December 2016, Punch newspaper published it at page 12, a story captioned: I’ll not appear before Osun magistrate.

“The story was also promoted on the front page of the paper; in the body of the story, the first respondent (Oba Akanbi) was quoted that ‘It is a shame on judiciary to have such magistrate sitting.’ I have the print-out of the statement based on channels television and newspaper publication.

“It is no doubt that the statement is contemptuous in nature and they are meant to embarrass and humiliate this court under the law. It is contempt, which attracts punitive action and this court has a duty to protect itself from assault and preserve the sanctity of the judiciary and due process.

“Therefore the case which brought the parties before me is hereby stepped down until this issue of contempt is cleared.

“He (Oba Akanbi) should be arrested and kept in prison till next adjourned date of sitting for his failure to appear as ordered by the court.”

The judge maintained that he would step down the original case of fraud among other allegations brought against Oba Akanbi and face the case of contempt of court against the monarch.

Another traditional ruler, the Oluwo-Oke of Iwo-Oke, Oba Kadiri Adeoye, had instituted a suit before the court against Oba Akanbi, claiming that the monarch was involved in fraudulent activities before being crowned the Oluwo.

But the Oluwo had been sending one of his chiefs to represent him in court, a situation that did not go down well with the Magistrate.

After several orders that the Oluwo should appear in person to face trial, the monarch ignored the court and rather threatened to arrest the magistrate.