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Osun court reverses elevation of title chief

By Deborah Akinpelu

An Osun State High Court sitting in Ikirun, has reversed the elevation a village head, Chief Sunday Akinwale as the king of Eko Ajala, in Ifelodun Local Government area of the state.

The presiding judge, Justice Jide Falola who gave the order said that Chief Akinwale should henceforth stop parading himself as a recognized beaded king in the state and who ever that refer to him as king would be arrested and prosecuted.

The also  ordered him to pay a sum N250,000 as a fine, saying Chief Akinwale,  despite his awareness of the fact that the court has retrained the state government from elevating him as a recognized beaded king is contemptuous and qualified to be imprisoned.

It would be recalled that  the  Elende of Eko-Ende, Oba Abdul Raufu Olaniyan Ajiboye, in whose jurisdiction the village where Chief Sunday Akinwale was situated had approached the court seeking injunction of the court to restrain the state government from elevating Chief Akinwale.

The monarch,  in an ex parte motion on behalf of the members of Eko-Ende land prayed the court to order the defendant and  Osun State Government to maintain status quo   pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

In its ruling ,  the court granted interim injunction restraining the state government from elevating, installing or presenting staff  of office to Chief Akinwale, Baale of Eko Ajala as recognized king in the state.

Oba Ajiboye had  argued that they were the owners of the land occupied by Baale of Eko Ajala, Chief Sunday Akinwale. He  further stated in the suit that it was out of magnanimity that they granted land to Akinwale's forebears  to dwell and also to engage in subsistence  farming.

"The state government and state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs are making surreptitious moves to take away our  right and elevate the status of chief Akinwale without our consent and against ruling of the court of competent jurisdiction".

According to an attached  copy of the court ruling , an Osun State High Court sitting in Ikirun, which was  presided over by  Hon. Justice Olajide  Falola in a ruling delivered on November 8th, 2018 had retrained the state government from installing or elevating Chief Akinwale to a full blown king  or present a staff of office to him  pending the determination of the suit filed by  the monarch.

Falola also frowned at the counter affidavit filed by Akinwale for not carrying necessary signature of the deponent,  in line with the dictate of law.

He hereby  struck out the counter affidavit to the motion arguing that  the application does not exist in the eyes of law.

According to him" The Counter  Affidavit of the 4th Defendant/ Respondent filled on 18/9/2018 was not signed by the deponent,  Chief Sunday Akinwale, who described himself as Baale of Eko Ajala (the 4th Defendant /Respondent himself). "

"This is an irredeemable tragedy and a fundamental vice that cannot be cured or waived. This court cannot look at the Counter Affidavit because it does not exist in the eyes of the law. The Counter Affidavit to the motion is therefore summarily struck out ".

But the state government in  a flagrant disobedience to a  court order, went ahead and elevate Chief  Sunday Akinwale as the king of Eko Ajala.

At the resumed case today, Justice Falola,  who berated the immediate past government in the state over the action declared that the purported elevation was  illegal and void .

He ordered that Chief Sunday Akinwale should refund all the money he has collected as the the king and should stop parading himself as a recognized beaded king in the state pending determination of the  substantive case before the court.

" The action of the immediate past government in the state is a big shock to me, it is indeed a threat to judiciary, how could a government flout an order of court."

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