Obaro stool: Oba Owoniyi heads to Supreme Court

April 4, 2021
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Following the judgement of appeal court on the Obaro stool, the Obaro of Kabba, Chief Dele Owoniyi has appealed the judgement at the Supreme Court.

An appeal court sitting in Abuja had on Wednesday declared the judgement by a lower court in Lokoja, which threw out the case of the Ilajo royal family challenging the appointment of Chief Dele Owoniyi as the Obaro of Kabba on the basis that it was statue barred, as wrong and a miscarriage of justice.

However, Ilajo Royal Family of Owe Kingdom in Kabba, Kogi State has praised the judgement of Court of Appeal restoring the rights of the family to challenge the appointment of Chief Dele Owoniyi as Obaro of Kabba.

The Counsel to Obaro of Kabba, Mr. Dayo Akinlaja, SAN, has thrown light on the ruling of the Court of Appeal, explaining that the next port of call is the Supreme Court where justice will prevail.

The Counsel, to Obaro of Kabba, and the Chairman of the Okun Traditional Council, Oba Solomon Dele Owoniyi who made this known in a press statement signed and issued at the weekend states:

“It was our conviction that the suit was not valid for a number of reasons including the fact that the action is statute barred which means that it was filed outside the time permitted by law.

He averred that it was late in the day because the reports of the various judicial commissions of inquiry that had looked into the Chieftaincy title are binding on the Claimants and cannot be challenged in court.

According to him the action could not be filed before the Governor had been given an opportunity to look into the propriety or otherwise of the appointment of the Obaro, Oba Solomon Owoniyi.

He added that by reason of that conviction, we filed a preliminary objection to challenge the jurisdiction of the High Court to entertain the suit. 

The Counsel further disclosed that upon arguments taken, the High Court agreed with us that the suit was statute barred and struck out the suit.

According to him, the claimants( Ilajos)were dissatisfied and headed to the Court of Appeal. 

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But the Court of Appeal delivered its judgment and upturned the decision of the High Court, meaning that the Court of Appeal is of the position that the suit before the High Court was properly filed and should be heard on its merit and therefore sent  the case back to the High Court for hearing on its merit. 

“It is my honest conviction that the Court of Appeal is wrong in its judgment. On account of that, I strongly believe we should appeal to the Supreme Court on the issue of jurisdiction. It is important to mention that the merit of the case at the High Court has not been touched up till this moment. So, there is no threat of any kind to the appointment of the Kabiyesi,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Ilajo Royal Family of Owe Kingdom in Kabba, Kogi state has praised the judgement of  Court of Appeal restoring the rights of the family to challenge the appointment of Chief Dele Owoniyi as Obaro of Kabba.

In a statement signed by Chief Henry Oluwole Aiyewumi at the weekend on behalf of the ilajo royal family and made available to newsmen in Lokoja , it  describes the judgement as a gateway to the justice which had been denied the family by the lower court.

The statement reads:

“This judgement of the Court of Appeal is a triumph of the rule of law over forces of coercion and the Ilajo Royal Family commends the justices of the Appeal Court for their coherent,factual and incisive decisions.

“The judgement has shown that no matter how far a lie may travel and no matter how beautiful its adornments are made to look, the truth will catch up with it.

“Again, we commend the Judiciary for its courage to deliver a judgement predicated on justice,” the statement added.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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