Community drags Alawe to court over chieftaincy title

Two indigenes of Ilawe Ekiti, headquarters of Ekiti South-West Local Government Area of Ekiti State, have dragged the Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi, before an Ekiti State High Court over the Olomodulawe chieftaincy title of the town.

The claimants in the suit, Pa Bakare Agbaje and Mr. Agbaje Saliu, who sued for themselves and on behalf of their family are demanding the removal of Idowu Ibiowotosi (first defendant) as the Olomodulawe.

Also sued are Chief Gbenga Agbona, Kayode Balogun, Joseph Akiri, who are second to fourth defendants.

The claimants averred that the process for the nomination and installation of Ibiowotosi contravened the native law, the custom and the applicable chiefs law.

In a second further amended statement of claim, the claimants averred that Olomodulawe chieftaincy title exclusively belonged to three branches: Gbadamosi, Fatimehin and Fajemisin.

They averred that prior to the purported installation and appointment of the first defendant, the last two Olomodulawes were from Gbadamosi and Fatimehin branches.

They claimed it was “the turn of Fajemisin branch of claimants family to produce a candidate to fill the stool.”

The claimants stated that Ibiowotosi  “is not a member of their family and as such not eligible for the chieftaincy title.

“The first defendant wrongfully and illegally held himself out to be appointed as Olomodulawe without ensuring that the prior written approval of the prescribed authority had been obtained before his purported appointment.”

The claimants prayed for an order of perpetual injunction restraining Ibiowotosi from parading himself as the Olomodulawe of Oke-Emo Quarters in Ilawe-Ekiti.

But contrary to claims by the claimants, the defendants said the Olomodulawe family was made up of eight branches: Ibiowotisi, Faje, Apelona, Saribi, Fajemisin, Fatimehin, Gbadamosi and Ola.

Besides, they contended that the stool was not rotated among the branches of the family.

“Any male descendant from the aforesaid eight branches of the family is entitled to contest for and be installed with the Olomodulawe Chieftaincy title whenever it is vacant. This was confirmed by the first claimant and other members of the family at various times.

“Chief Gbadamosi Olomodulawe and Chief Zaccheaus Fatimehin were not appointed and installed as Olomodulawe on the basis of rotation among the branches of the family, rather they were both installed appointed and installed as Olomodulawe on the basis of being male children and having contested for the said chieftaincy title.”