Lagos Traditional Ruler Faces Contempt Charge

Wale Igbintade

The Onibeju of Ibejuland and paramount ruler in the Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State, Oba Waliu Olasunkanmi, is reportedly risking being committed to prison for contempt of court.

The Form 48 (Notice of consequences of disobedience), dated December 15, 2023, warned that unless the traditional ruler obeys the order of the court, he would be guilty of contempt, and liable to be committed to prison.

Justice K. O. Dawodu had on December 12, 2023, ordered the Lagos State Government to reverse the Oba’s installation as well restrained him from parading himself as the Oba of Ibeju Kingdom.

Justice Dawodu made the orders while granting mandatory injunction filed by Prince Adewale Abdul Rauf Oniwonlu against the deposed Oba listed as ninth defendant and 21 others in a suit numbered LD/9297GCMW/2022.

Others listed as defendants in the suit are the Governor of Lagos State, the  Attorney General of Lagos State, the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Lagos State, the Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area.High Chief Moshood Musefiu Adewole (Chief Aro of Iberekodo and Onibeju Kingmaker), Chief Shuaib Oloritun Bobagunwa (Bobagunwa of Ibeju Land), Prince (Chief) Talibi Adesanya Idogun, and Chief Tawaliu Abu (Sasore of Ibeju Land and Onibeju Kingmaker) for themselves and on behalf of the Onibeju Kingmakers of Agbedua House Ibeju

Others are Prince Seidu Hassan Ayinuara Oniwonlu (Head of Oba Badesuwo branch of Oniwonlu Royal Family of Ibeju-Agbe), Prince Wasiu Apena -idogun (Head of Oba Ogunfayo branch of Oniwonlu Royal Family of Iwerekun) among others.

However, the applicant, Prince Adewale Adeyemi Abdul Rauf Oniwonlu, alleged that while the orders still subsist, the deposed monarch continued to parade himself as Oba Onibeju of Ibeju and making various appearances in public occasions as Oba.

He stated that the deposed traditional ruler also alleged in the media that he and other respondents were not served the hearing notice, and that despite the proof that they were not served the hearing notice, the lower court still proceeded to hear the matter, even when it became obvious that it lacked the jurisdiction to do so.

Consequently, the applicant filed a Form 48, consequence of disobedience of court order and served same on the deposed Oba by publication in a national newspaper on December 18, 2023.

Meanwhile, hearing of the substantive suit has been fixed for February 14, 2024, in Lagos where the contempt proceedings may be heard.

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