Ile Arugbo: Judge dismisses application to reassign case

Justice Abiodun Adebara of the Kwara State High Court, Ilorin, has dismissed the application by counsels to the late Dr Olusola Saraki and the Asa Investments Limited, asking the state Chief Judge, Sulyman Kawu, to reassign the case over a disputed land (Ile Arugbo).

The claimants had in January this year taken the state government to court after the latter reclaimed the land allegedly unlawfully taken over by Asa Investments Limited without any right of occupancy or payment to the state government.

Claimants’ lead Counsel, Akin Onigbinde (SAN) had also urged the presiding judge in the matter, Justice Abiodun Adebara, to withdraw from the case alleging bias and impartiality.

“It is not an application against the person of the honourable court.

The concern is what ordinary members of the public will feel in this circumstance. There is no ruling yet. We give the court the freedom/latitude to decide according to its discretion,” Dr Onigbinde had told the court.

In his about two hours ruling on Wednesday, Justice Adebara said that “allegation against a judge is a very serious and grievous one. A case of impartiality should not be made against a judge unless there is sufficient ground to do so.

“The allegation of a likely bias against this court is misplaced vague and suspicious. I, therefore, rule that the allegation lacks merit and it is accordingly dismissed.”

He then adjourned the case to February 1 and 2, 2021 for hearing.

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