Embattled Ibadan Obas challenge consent judgement
The crisis rocking the Ibadan Traditional Council continued on Thursday as the Obas promoted from High Chiefs and Baales by the immediate past governor Abiola Ajimobi have challenged the consent judgement that asked them to stop wearing beaded crown and coronet.
Counsel to the embattled traditional rulers, Kunle Sobaloju, SAN, said two separate suits had been filed to challenge the consent judgement.
Defendants in the suit are the state governor, two of his commissioners, the Osi Olubadan, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja and Hon. Justice Akintunde Boade (rtd) for himself and on behalf of all members of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry on Olubadan of Ibadan Chieftaincy.
Sobaloju in a statement disclosed that two separate suits were filed to challenge the consent judgement made by the Oyo State High Court of Justice.
The counsel recalled the newspaper publication made by counsel to the Osi Olubadan, Micheal Lana, directing the Obas to desist from wearing their beaded crown and coronet based on the consent judgement by a term of settlement that was filed without involving his clients’ whose interests are at stake as the basis for the two separate suits.
He explained that the Obas challenged the consent judgement on the grounds that it was obtained by concealment of salient facts by the parties to it and that it was obtained by fraud for failure to disclose to the court the interests of third parties who are not parties to the suit.
He also argued that the consent judgement did not represent the terms of settlement entered by the parties.
Sobaloju said, “our clients were deprived of fair hearing as they were stripped of their rights to wear beaded crown and coronet. The consent judgement deprived our clients of their rights to fair hearing as entrenched in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“Government Gazette conferring beaded crowns and coronet on our clients cannot be set aside with the consent of parties to a case”, the counsel added.
Relying on the suits with No I/22/2020 and I/23/2020 filed respectively and copies of which were made available to journalists, the counsel argued that “having submitted the issues in respect of their rights to wear beaded crown and coronet to the court for determination, unless the issues are determined one way or the other, none of the parties is allowed to do anything that will prejudice the hearing and determination of the issues before the court.
He added that it is settled law that once a court is seized of a matter, none of the parties has the right to take the law into his hands or to do anything that will prejudice the hearing of the case”.
However, the embattled Obas have accused the state governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, of betraying them despite the support they had given his administration.
Speaking after a meeting held at Mapo Hall, Ibadan, the Otun Olubadan, High Chief Lekan Balogun, who spoke on behalf of the Obas, also accused the governor of insincerity and being unfair to them.
According to him, the decision of Makinde to lend support to the consent judgement being obtained was against his earlier assurance that he would remain neutral on the matter.
Balogun said the governor has not been fair to them and not honest despite their love and support for him and his administration.
He said, “we loved him and supported his administration theoretically and practically and he assured us that he would not interfere in the matter, but by being part of the suit that brought about the consent judgement, we felt betrayed.
“The fact that he did not deem it fit to dialogue with us before going ahead with the case confirms our conclusion about our unfair treatment.
“To worsen the matter, the governor has been evading and avoiding us which confirms that his choice has been deliberate which is unfortunate”.