Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has appealed the ruling of Justice Olajumoke Aiki, which declared the installation of 21 new kings in Ibadanland null and void.
A former governor of the state and Osi Olubadan of Ibadan land, Rashidi Ladoja, had challenged the constitution of the panel set up by Ajimobi to review the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration of 1957, praying the court to set aside the panel’s recommendations.
In the appeal filed on Ajimobi’s behalf by his counsel, Yusuf Ali (SAN) at the Court of Appeal of Nigeria, Ibadan Judicial Division, with suit number M/317/2017, the governor hinged his appeal on 11 grounds which summed up his counsel’s views that Justice Aiki erred in her ruling.
Joined in the suit, with Ladoja as respondent, is Justice Akintunde Boade, who was the chairman of the review panel.
In the appeal, Ajimobi claimed that the judge erred by overruling all the heads of the preliminary objection raised to the competence of Ladoja’s case and in the process, failed and refused to follow decided authorities of appellate courts cited before him.
Some of the grounds on which Ajimobi is appealing the ruling are: “The learned trial judge erred in law and totally misapprehended the facts of the matter in overruling the objection of the appellant on the inappropriateness of the originating summons proceeding on the determination of the first respondent’s case.
“The learned judge erred in law and gravely misdirected himself in holding that the case of the first respondent (Ladoja) as constituted is not academic, hypothetical and will serve no useful purpose.
“The learned trial judge erred in law by holding in spite of paucity of facts making any positive allegation against the appellant, that the suit discloses a reasonable or any course of action at all.
“The learned trial judge erred in law and totally misrepresented and misinterpreted the provisions of the Chiefs Law of Oyo State in coming to the conclusion and agreeing with the first respondent that only indigenes of Ibadan could be made members of the commission of inquiry set up by the governor to look into Ibadan Chieftaincy stool.”
While claiming that the judgment was against the weight of the evidence, Ajimobi’s counsel supported the claims in the appeal by arguing, among others, that Ladoja’s legal team did not place any credible or sufficient material facts before the court to entitle him to succeed with the case he presented.
He also averred that the reliefs in the circumstances could not be granted and that the judge “sidetracked and refused to follow binding decided authorities of appellate courts cited before him, with a view to coming to the perverse conclusion reached in the ruling and judgment.”
“The governor has absolute discretion under Section 25 of the Chiefs Law of Oyo State as to the membership of any commission of inquiry, including the one dealing with the Ibadan Chieftaincy,” he stated in the appeal.
Among Ajimobi’s prayers is an order setting aside the ruling and judgment of the court delivered on January 19, 2018, and an order upholding the appellant’s preliminary objection that was raised against the first respondent.