We didn’t flout any court order over Iree royal tussle, says Osun government

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BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

Uba Group

The Osun State Government has debunked report that it flouted a court order over Iree Chieftaincy tussle.

Some media reports had said the state government installed the newly appointed Aree of Iree, in Boripe Local Government Area of the state, Prince Raphael Oluponle Ademola, in total disregard of an order of the state High Court sitting in Ikirun.

Justice I. O. Adeleke, while delivering ruling on a motion ex-parte for interim injunction filed by the kingmakers on Tuesday, ordered the state governor, Gboyega Oyetola, Commissioner of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Adeleke Adebayo and other government functionaries to stop further action on the purported appointment of Ademola.

The government had announced the appointment of Prince Ademola as the new Aree of Ireeland despite that the kingmakers had filed a suit against appointment of warrant chiefs.

The five kingmakers including Chief Olufemi Afolabi (the Ojomu of Iree Land), Chief Sobalaje Alao, (the Osolo of Iree Land), Chief Saliu Atoyebi (the Aogun of Iree Land), Chief Sanusi Babawale, (the Inunrin of Iree Land) and Chief James Adebisi Bankole, (the Jagun of Iree Land) approached Ikirun High Court with a motion ex-parte for interim injunction and urged the court to order stoppage of further action on the Aree stool.

The defendants in the motion are the Osun State Governor, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Special Adviser to the Governor on Chieftaincy Matters, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and Mrs Serifatu Adebayo, the appointed warrant chief.

Justice Adeleke had expressed displeasure over the manner the state government disregarded the suit it was served against the appointment of warrant chiefs and went ahead to conduct election of the new monarch.

Adeleke, then, ordered that the defendants should cease further action on the appointment and installation of Aree of Iree pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice served on them.

The judge had ruled that: “The best person on any society is the one who respects the right of others. The one who will not venture into doing that which can be challenged legitimately. Obedience to the rule of law is for the good of the society at large. All the defendants in this case (1-5) are hereby ordered to stay further action on the facts in issue in the case before the court.

“In the interest of justice, fairness and sanctity of judicial process, the defendants should stop further action on the appointment and installation of Aree of Iree pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice served on the defendants.”

But, the state government, represented by the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Adebayo, had reportedly conducted installation ceremony for the Oba-elect on Wednesday.

Ademola, the Commissioner and other dignitaries were seen within the palace premises in Iree holding the ceremony. The new monarch was seen sitting on the Aree throne.

It was gathered that the state government was yet to file a stay of execution since they were served the court order.

Reacting to the report, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Oyetola, Ismail Omipidan, denied that the state government flouted court order saying that the ceremony held at the palace of Aree was not an installation.

He said that the Aree-elect was only welcomed by some officials of government and other indigenes of Iree after he came out of his seclusion.

“The moment his appointment was announced on Monday, he (Ademola) went into seclusion for the traditional rituals. At that point, the state government plays no role. He only came out from seclusion yesterday (Friday). Usually, formal installation is arranged, just like we did today in Ife South. What happened yesterday (Friday) is not installation,” Omipidan said.