THE Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Munta Abimbola, on Wednesday withdrew from handling a matter filed by the Seriki Olubadan lineage led by its patriarch, Chief Adebayo Oyediji, to contest the selection and installation of the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, on allegations that the Olubadan -in – council erred and did not follow due process.
Chief Oyediji had in a motion filed on his behalf by his counsel, Abideen Adeniran, alleged that the Olubadan-in-Council had been cheating him and the Seriki Line since November 21, 2008 by disobeying the order of Justice M.O. Ishola, which had granted an interlocutory injunction restraining the state Governor, the Attorney-General, the late Oba Odugade and six other High Chiefs from the Ekerin Olubadan, Ashipa Olubadan, Osi Olubadan, Otun Olubadan, as well as its equivalent in the Balogun Line “from selecting, appointing or promoting any of them to the stool of Olubadan pending the hearing and final determination of the originating summons.”
At the resumed hearing of the matter before Court 1 at the Oyo State High Court sitting at Ring Road, Ibadan, Justice Abimbola announced his decision, adding that this was based on a petition written to the National Judicial Council by the Seriki family.
He added that the petition was written in March, explaining that the NJC panel took six months to look into the matter before clearing him of any malpractice and decide that the petition lacks merit.
He described the petition as unfounded, adding that no specific allegation of misconduct was given as basis for the petition aside the accusation that he attended the installation ceremony of the Olubadan of Ibadan.
He explained that the allegation was false as he does not attend public functions that has no legal relevance or is not associated to his judicial functions and warned counsel to desist from acts that are targeted at tarnishing the image of judges especially when there is no substantive evidence against such judges.
Adeniran in his response denied being the author of the petition, informing the court that he did not know when the petition was written or signed but admitted that he was shown a copy after the deed was done.
He apologised to the Chief Judge and explained that though the petition contained legal terms, it was a family member that is a lawyer that wrote it, reiterating his innocence.
In his ruling on the matter, Justice Abimbola stated that he is withdrawing from handling the matter and is transferring the file to the administrative judge so that it will be reassigned to another court.