Court Sacks Ekiti Oba over Faulty Selection

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By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

The Court of Appeal sitting in Ado Ekiti has sacked the Owa of Odo Ayedun, Oba Ilesanmi Ajibade, over lopsided selection process leading to his emergence.

The Appeal Court in its decision upheld the decision of the Ekiti State High Court which nullified the selection and appointment of Ajibade.

The court in its unanimous decision on Tuesday held that the Ekiti State Government erred to have cancelled the first selection process and immediately ordered a fresh one since it has no absolute powers in law to do so.

In a verdict read by Justice E. O Dawodu-Williams, the court validated the first selection process held on November 2, 2009, which produced Prince Kunle Adeniyi, an assistant director in the state Ministry of Information as the Owa of Odo Ayedun Ekiti

Justice Dawodu-Williams, who resolved all the issues formulated for determination in the case against the appellant and in favour of the respondent, Prince Adeniyi, affirmed the lower court’s judgment on the obaship tussle.

The court further held that there was no evidence before the court which showed that the selection process that produced the claimant was marred by violence as alleged by the appellant and dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit.

The counsel to the appellant, Mr Obafemi Adewale, said they would proceed to the Supreme Court to file an appeal against the judgment.

The counsel to the respondent/claimant, Mr. T. J. omidoyin, described the judgment as a deserving one.

Ajibade was installed in 2009 during the administration of Governor Segun Oni, following which Adeniyi approached the High Court in Ikole, urging it to nullify the selection process that produced the king and upheld the first one conducted that produced him.