Justice Niyi Onigbanjo of a Lagos High Court has stopped the coronation of Oba Hafeez Olakunle Badiru, as the Oba of Langbasa with an order further stopping him from parading himself or holding himself out as the Oba of Langbasa.
The court gave the ruling in a suit filed by Prince Saheed Adeniyi Sanni, on behalf of other members of Langbasa community in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, asking the court to nullify the appointment of Oba Hafeez Badiru as the Oba of Langbasa, on the ground that he was not the authentic choice of the Kajerejaiye Chieftaincy Family of Langbasa, which is the family next in line to appoint the Oba of Langbasa.
Those joined as defendants alongside Oba Badiru are the Governor of Lagos State, the Attorney-General of Lagos, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, the Chieftaincy Committee of Eti-Osa LGA and Eti-Osa Local Government Council.
The suit was supported by an 86 paragraphs affidavit deposed to by Prince Saheed Sanni, where he averred that by the Amended Chieftaincy Declaration of Langbasa, it is the turn of the Kajerojaiye Chieftaincy family to present the Oba and the said family has already picked Prince Saheed Sanni as their candidate, adding that he has been presented to the Kingmakers who have in turn chosen him and presented him to the Eti-Osa LGA.
He stated further that all the traditional rites have been performed on Prince Saheed Sanni, by the entire Langbasa community, who were only awaiting confirmation from the Lagos State Executive Council before they suddenly noticed the presence of armed policemen in the community on April 25, 2017 as well as a canopy and an array of government vehicles, from which Hafeez Badiru suddenly emerged and his hands were lifted by some commissioners of Lagos State, who came there to proclaim him as Oba of Langbasa to the shock and consternation of the entire community.
When the case came up on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 before the court, Lagos based lawyer and human rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, who represented the claimants argued that it would amount to a taboo for the court to allow to persons to be crowned as Oba in any community, as the choice of an Oba is exclusively for the family of Kajerojaiye and not the Lagos State Government.
The claimants in the main suit are asking for a declaration that based on the decision and choice of the Kajerojaiye Elejigbo chieftaincy family of Langbasa and the Kingmakers to the Langbasa Chieftaincy Declaration, Prince Sanni is the person entitled to the Obaship of Lagbansa in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State.
Further, the claimants asked for a declaration that by virtue of the Langbasa Chieftaincy Declaration regulating the Elejigbo chieftaincy, the same Sanni is the person entitled to the Obaship of Lagbansa in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State and that under the custom and tradition of Langbasa town, he is the person lawfully and legally selected, recommended and nominated for appointment and installation as the Oba Elejigbo of Langbasa in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, to the exclusion of the Oba Badiru.
Other declarations sought include the court should hold that the defendants cannot bye-pass, ignore or reject the decision and choice of the Kajerojaiye Elejigbo chieftaincy family of Langbasa and the Kingmakers to the Langbasa Chieftaincy Declaration to appoint the Oba Badiru as the Oba Elejigbo of Langbasa in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State and he is not entitled to be selected, presented, appointed and approved as the Oba Elejigbo of Langbasa in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State.
They asked for an injunction restraining the defendants jointly and severally by themselves, agents, servants and/or privies from treating, dealing with and/or recognizing the 6thDefendant as the Oba Elejigbo of Langbasa in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State and restraining Oba Badiru from parading, holding, presenting himself out or in any other manner discharging or carrying out the functions of the office of the Oba Elejigbo of Langbasa in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State.
The case has been adjourned till June 20, 2017 for hearing of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.