Appeal Court sacks Ondo monarch

Akure division of the Court of Appeal has ordered the Akinnuwa of Igbindo in Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State, Oba John Ogundoju, to vacate the throne.

The court also directed the kingmakers to commence the process of selecting a new traditional ruler in accordance with the tradition of the town.

In a judgment delivered by Justice Mohammed Danjuma, the court ordered Ogundoju to stop parading himself as the traditional ruler of the town, henceforth.

An Ondo State High Court sitting in Ondo had, in 2015, sacked Oba Ogundoju on the grounds that he was not the right candidate for the stool.

But, Ogundoju and some members of his ruling house appealed the judgment.

The plaintiffs, in their defence, sought the court declaration that by “the custom and tradition of the ascension to the stool of Akinnuwa of Igbindo land, it is only those from the male lineage of the applicable ruling house that can ascend the throne prevail.”

Also, they claimed that based on the White Paper of the Olayiwola Chieftaincy Review Commission of 1982, it is the turn of Ogbowo Okun ruling house to produce the next traditional ruler for the town.

Consequently, the plaintiffs prayed for an order of “injunction restraining Ogundoju from imposing himself on Ogbowo ruling house as the Akinnuwa of Igbindo.”

Justice Danjuma, who read the judgment on behalf of other members of the panel, upheld the earlier judgment of the High Court.

He said: “On the basis of the facts and evidence adduced by parties in the case and the authorities cited, it is my finding that the decision of the trial court on this issue was in order.

“It is resolved against the appellants and in favour of respondents.

“Having resolved all the three issues raised, herein, against the appellants, the result is that the appeal lacks merit and it is accordingly dismissed.

“The judgment of the High Court of Ondo State delivered by Justice O. A. Adegbehingbe on July 28, 2015, is, hereby, upheld,” he said.