An Appeal Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, has sacked the traditional ruler of Igbindo community in Ondo West Local Government Area of the state, Oba John Ogundoju, for ineligibility to contest the stool.
The court in a judgment delivered in December 2017, ordered Ogundoju to vacate the stool and stop parading himself as the traditional ruler of the community and ordered the ruling house to start a fresh process of electing a new monarch for the town. A copy of the judgment was made available to journalists on Sunday.
Ogundolu was on July 28, 2015 removed by the state High Court barely two weeks after he was presented the staff of office by the Ondo State Government but he challenged the action at the appellate court.
The legal battle began in the community when some princes from Ogbowo Okun Ruling House led by Adetutu Ifashole and Okunade Makinde Fashole dragged Ogundoju and four others to court over his eligibility to contest for the vacant stool of the Akinnuwa of Igbindo town.
Other defendants in the suit, aside the monarch included Adeodi Adebayo, Taye Akinkugbe, the Chairman of the ruling house, Adeseeke Adewale Stephen and Joseph Olamodimu.
The princess prayed the court to declare Ogundoju ineligible to be the monarch of the town on the ground that he was from the female lineage of the ruling house against the custom and tradition to ascend to the throne which allows a person from only the male lineage.
The plaintiffs also asked for an order of injunction restraining Ogundoju, the second and third defendants from imposing him (Ogundoju) on Ogbowo Ruling House as the Akinnuwa of Igbindo.
In his judgment, Justice Bode Adegbehingbe of the trial court admitted the prayer of the plaintiffs and ordered the removal of Ogundoju as the monarch of the community.
However, not satisfied with the judgment of the high court, the embattled traditional ruler through his counsel the Mr. Kunle Adetowubo, proceeded to the appellate court to challenge the high court ruling.
But in a judgment delivered by the three-man panel, the appellate court upheld the earlier judgment of the high court and dismissed the appeal for lack of merit.
The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Danjuma, 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 learned trial court on this issue was in order. It is resolved against the appellants and in favour of the respondents.”