Olubadan Chieftaincy Review: Ajimobi Appeal Judgement

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L-R: Members of the Olubadan-in-council: High Chief Tajudeen Ajibola (Osi Balogun); Eddy Oyewole (Ashipa Olubadan); Olufemi Olaifa (Otun Balogun); and Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, during the submission of the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry for the review of Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration, at the Governor's Office, Ibadan... on Friday. Photo: Governor's Office

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State on Monday appealed against the decision of the Oyo State High Court, Ibadan division which declared the review of the 1957 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration and Other Related Chieftaincies in Ibadan land by the Justice Akintunde Boade Review Commission unconstitutional, illegal, null, void and of no effect.

Honourable Justice Olajumoke Aiki J. had on Friday January 19, 2018 in the suit filed by the former governor of the state and Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, Sen. Rashidi Ladoja challenging the decision of Governor Ajimobi to set up the Justice Boade review commission ruled that Sections 10, 12 and 25 of the Oyo State Chiefs Law do not empower the governor to set up the committee.

In his 11 grounds of appeal at the Court of Appeal of Nigeria, Ibadan Judicial Division by his counsels led by Yusuf Ali SAN, Governor Ajimobi sought for an order setting aside the Ruling and Judgment of the Oyo state High Court, Ibadan Judicial Division, delivered on the 19th January, 2018.

Other reliefs sought by Governor Ajmobi in the appeal which has High Chief (Senator) Rashidi Ladoja and Hon Justice Akintunde Boade (RTD) (for himself and on behalf of all members of the Judicial Commission of inquiry on Olubadan Chieftaincy) as Respondents 1 & 2 include an order upholding the Appellant’s Preliminary Objection raised against the 1st Respondent and an order dismissing the case of the 1st respondent in its entirety.

In ground 6 of the appeal, the Governor posited that the Learned Trial Judge erred in law and totally misinterpreted sections 10, 12 and 25 of the Oyo State Chiefs Law when in purporting to interpret these sections, he introduced extraneous provisions which are not contained in the law, thereby excluding the general scheme and the general provisions of the law.

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The Governor noted that in the interpretation of a law, the court cannot interpret the section in isolation of each other bust must interpret them holistically, that the court in interpreting the provisions of a statute has no right to read into words that are not in the statute with a view to arriving at its conclusion and that there is no provision in the Oyo State Chiefs Law that takes away the rights of the Governor from instituting a commission of Inquiry to look into issues on matters on which the House of Assembly could make law.

The Governor stated in another ground of appeal that the Learned trial judge erred in law and totally misapprehended and misinterpreted the provisions of the Chiefs Law of Oyo State in coming to the conclusion and agreeing with the 1st respondents that only indigenes of Ibadan could be made members of the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Governor to look into Ibadan chieftaincy stool, saying that he (Governor) has absolute discretion under section 25 of the Chiefs Law of Oyo State as to the membership of any Commission of inquiry including the one dealing with Ibadan Chieftaincy.

He stated that the Learned trial judge took a very narrow view in interpreting the provisions of section 25 of the Chiefs Law of Oyo State complained about and that the law donates wide discretionary powers to the Governor and the court cannot take away such powers donated by law under any guise.

In another grounds of appeal, the governor said that the Learned Trial Judge erred in law by overruling all the heads of the preliminary objection raised to the competence of the 1st Respondent’s case and in the process failed and refused to follow decided authorities of Appellate Courts cited before him and thereby embarked on clustered justice which led to a miscarriage of justice against the Appellant and that the Learned Trial Judge  erred in law and totally misapprehended the facts of the matter in overruling the objection of the Appellant on the inappropriateness of the Originating Summons proceeding in the determination of the 1st Respondent’s case.

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He noted that from the facts and decided authorities, Originating Summons was inappropriate for the commencement and prosecution of the matter, that clearly from the facts and the Law, the 1st Respondent has no locus standi to prosecute the case, that in consequence, the suit discloses no reasonable or any cause of action at all and that the case was of pure academic value and hypothetical.

The Governor said that the Learned Trial Judge erred in law and came to wrong conclusion by holding that, the Governor has no power to set up a Commission of Inquiry on the issue of Beaded Crown wearing Obas and Coronet Crown Wearing Obas contrary to the provisions of the Chiefs Law of Oyo State which donates such powers and authority to the Governor, saying that the learned Trial Judge cannot choose which sections of the Chiefs Law to agree with and which ones he would not, that the Chiefs Law gives a lot of powers to the Governor on all Chieftaincies and any aspect thereof within the state and that the court is without any authority under any guise to take away, whittle or in any other manner assail the powers of the Governor donated by the Chiefs Law.

Other grounds of appeal among others are that the Judgment is against the weight of evidence, that the Learned Trial Judge erred in Law and gravely misdirected himself in holding that the case of the 1st respondent as constituted is not academic, hypothetical and will serve no useful purpose and that the Learned Trial Judge erred in law by holding inspite of paucity of facts making any positive allegation against the Appellant, that the suit discloses a reasonable or any cause of action at all.

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