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Court sacks Ondo monarch

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A High Court sitting in Ondo has sacked the traditional ruler of Igbindo town in Ondo-West Local Government Area of Ondo State, Oba John Ogundoju, as the Akinnuwa of the town.

The court ruling, which came barely two weeks after his installation as the monarch by the state government, was on the grounds that the enthronement of the defendant did not follow due process of the tradition of the town.

Ogundoju, who hails from the Ogbowo Okun Ruling House, was installed as the monarch of the town after the demise of his predecessor, Oba Pius Adedoyegbe of the Otutubiosun Ruling House in 2011.

According to the presiding judge, Justice Bode Adegbehingbe, the age-long tradition of the town that stated that only a son from the male lineage should be installed as the monarch of the town was not adhered to in the enthronement of the defendant who laid claim to the throne from the female lineage. The court, therefore, averred that he was not eligible to be the king of the town.

It will be recalled that some princesses from Ogbowo Okun Ruling House led by Adetutu Fashole and Okunade Makinde Fashole, who were against the election of Ogundolu by the kingmakers, approached the court to challenge the process .

Apart from the monarch, the plaintiffs also joined the chairman of the ruling house, Adeseeke Stephen, the secretary, Mr Joseph Olamodimu; Adeodi Adebayo, Taye Akinkugbe and four others in the suit.

The plaintiffs sought the court declaration that by “the age-long custom and tradition of the ascension to the stool of Akinnuwa of Igbindoland, it is only male line of the applicable ruling house and in this case the Ogbowo Okun Ruling House, that is eligible to fill the stool anytime the stool is vacant.”

They (the plaintiffs) stated that, based on the white paper on the Olayiwola Chieftaincy review commission 1982, it was the turn of the Ogbowo Okun Ruling House to produce the next monarch of the town. Based on this, they prayed the court to declare that Ogundoju was ineligible to contest the stool of Akinnuwa.

The plaintiffs also asked the court for an injunction to restrain Ogundoju, and other defendants, from imposing Ogundoju on the Ogbowo Ruling House as the Akinnuwa of Igbindo. They submitted that all the defendants were from the female lineage of Ogbowo Okun Ruling House and were not qualified to rule.

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