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Mob chases away Osun monarch, seals palace following Supreme Court ruling

Gov. Oyetola of Osun State

By Olajide Idowu

Ikire (Osun), Oct. 26, 2020

An irate mob on Monday reportedly attacked Oba Olatunde Falabi, the Akire of Ikire, Osun and allegedly chased him away and sealed off the palace.

The News Agency of Nigeria gathered that Oba Falabi was taken into safety by military personnel who rescued him from the mob who were on a mission to forcefully evict him.

NAN learnt that the youths were protesting the non-implementation of a Supreme Court judgement which declared Oba Falabi’s continued stay on the throne as illegal.

The police Spokesperson in Osun, SP Opalola Yemisi, confirmed the development to newsmen and added that no life was lost during the incident.

The battle for the throne had started in 1987 after the demise of the former traditional ruler, Oba Oseni Oyegunle.

NAN also reports that when the process of appointing a new monarch started, one of the five ruling houses, Aketula, presented a candidate, Mr Tajudeen Olanrewaju, in line with the Akire of Ikire Chieftaincy Declaration of 1958.

Before the process of Olanrewaju’s installation could be completed, two ruling houses, Ladekan and Lanbeloye, went to court to challenge the inclusion of Aketula in the ruling houses.

An Ile-Ife High Court, Ile-Ife, where the matter was instituted, consequently stopped Olanrewaju’s installation as the monarch, while the incumbent, Oba Olutunde Falabi, was installed in May 1993.

Though he lost at the Appeal Court, Ibadan, Olanrewaju proceeded to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court, in its judgment on April 11, 2014, affirmed that Aketula was one of the ruling houses, as provided in the 1958 Akire of Ikire Chieftaincy Declaration.

The Supreme Court also held that in view of the evidence on record, “it shows that the 1958 Declaration, in respect of the Akire of Ikire Chieftaincy stool, has not been amended or repealed.’’

Following the judgment, the incumbent monarch approached an Osun High Court, praying it to restrain the state government from deposing him because he had not committed any offence warranting his removal.

He also pleaded with the court to restrain the state governor, the Commissioners for Justice, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, from deposing him while his incumbency subsisted.

Justice Abdulkareem of Osun High Court, in his judgment of June 29, 2020, however, said that Falabi could no longer occupy the stool, based on the 1958 Akire Declaration and the rotational procedure contained therein.

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