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Nigeria's Apex Court deposes Oyo monarch

The Supreme Court has upheld the sack of a traditional ruler in Oyo State, the Eleruwa of Eruwa, in the Ibarapa East Local Government Area, Oba Samuel Adebayo Adegbola.

A panel of the Supreme Court, in a unanimous judgment yesterday, dismissed the appeal filed by Adegbola and others against an earlier decision of the Court of Appeal, faulting his enthronement.

Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, who read the lead-judgment of the panel led by Justice Musa Dattijo Mohammed, noted that the authorities cited by the appellants were not appropriate and do not support their case.

Justice Kekere-Ekun faulted the appellants’ contention that the originating processes and other documents filed before the trial court were invalid.

She held that the documents were duly filed and valid, having been signed by a lawyer.

Justice Kekere-Ekun resolved the five questions raised in the appeal against the appellants and upheld the decisions of the two lower courts.

She said: “The appeal has no merit and is hereby dismissed. I made no order as to cost. Parties are to bear their cost, the appeal is dismissed.”

Beside Adegbola, other appellants are Chief Samuel Salako Adewusi (The deceased Odofin Eruwa), Chief Femi Atanda-Jagun of Eruwa, Chief I.O. Olabode-Olukotun of Eruwa, Chief Idowu Okeowo-Asipa of Eruwa, Chief E. Ojebisi-Baale of Agbe, Eruwa and Mr. Kasali Sangotikun.

The respondents are: James Olatunde Idowu (for himself and on behalf of the Laribikusi Ruling House) Alhaji Rasheed Oyedepo Ajao; Oyo State governor; the Oyo State Attorney General and the Ibarapa East Local Government.


In a judgment in 2011 in a suit by the Laribikusi Ruling House, challenging Adegbola’s enthronement, Justice Muktar Abimbola of an Ibadan high court had, in 2011, ordered Adegbola’s removal.

Justice Abimbola declared that the process leading to Adegbola’e emergence as the Eleruwa of Eruwa was illegal, null and void.

The judge held that Adegbola was not a member of Laribikusi, one of the town’s two ruling houses, whose turn it was to produce the successor to the previous Eleruwa, Oba Bolanle Olaniyan, who died in 1994, describing his recommendation by a section of the family and selection by the kingmakers as irregular and a breach of the provisions of the state chief law, the Eleruwa chieftaincy declaration and Eruwa customs.

Justice Abimbola declared that, under the Custom and Chieftaincy Declaration of Eruwa, the meeting for the nomination of candidates by Ruling Quarters can only be summoned by the eldest member of the Ruling Quarters whose turn it is to provide candidates and that any meeting not so summoned is invalid and void.

The judge set aside the purported nomination, selection and approval of the 1st defendant (Adegbola) as the new Eleruwa of Eruwa.

He ordered the inclusion of the candidate of the Lasubu section of the Laribikusi Ruling Quarters along with the other three candidates of the other sections for consideration by the kingmakers.

The Court of Appeal in Ibadan, in a later judgment, upheld the decision by Justice Abimbola.


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