Sunday, January 23, 2022

Court dismisses suit seeking to remove Oba of Lagos

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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An Ikeja High Court has dismissed a suit seeking to oust Rilwan Akiolu, as the Oba of Lagos.

Justice A. Candide-Johnson held that the claimants, Prince Adedoyin Adebiyi and Prince Rasheed Modile, two members of the Lagos royal family, failed to prove their case.

Recall that the suit was instituted in 2012.

The three arguments made by the claimants include that Mr Akiolu did not observe the 90 days interval between the death of an Oba and the selection of another, rotation of the kingship among members of the royal family, and the existence of a registered declaration for the stool of Lagos.

Mr Akiolu, in his defence, stated that the 90-day interval rule was a fallacy and has never existed as Oba Dosunmu before him was appointed a day after the demise of Oba Akintoye.

Led in evidence in court by his counsel, Tokunbo Mumuni, the Oba said: “I’m here to justify my appointment and installation, you cannot build something on nothing, it will not stand.

“By native law and customs and by law, I am the bonafide Oba of Lagos,” Akiolu said.

His appointment and eventual installation as the Oba of Lagos is being challenged by Prince Adedoyin Adebiyi and Prince Rasheed Modile, two members of a Lagos royal family.

Joined as defendants in the case are the Governor of Lagos State, Attorney-General of Lagos State, Prince Babatunde Akitoye and Chief Junaid Eko.

The plaintiffs are  claiming that Akiolu is not entitled to the throne because he is not a member of a ruling royal family by not being a direct descendant of Oba Ado, the first Oba of Lagos.

They argued that only members of the Ologun Kutere and Akinsemoyin ruling households were entitled to the throne, adding that proper customary rules and procedures were not followed when he was appointed as Oba in May 2003.

Led in evidence by his lawyer, Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, Akiolu revealed how he was instaled and the procedure he followed to become the king. “After I made my intention known to my family that I wanted to be Oba of Lagos, I applied for the throne.

“In May 2003, the head of the king makers and the then sole administrator of Lagos Island called at my residence.

“At that time I was preparing to go to the mosque and I received a letter from the state government and the executive council of Lagos.

“The letter was accepting my nomination that I have been approved to be a worthy successor of the then late Oba of Lagos.

“It will be exactly 14 years tomorrow, on May 23, 2003 that my appointment was approved.

“By the grace of Almighty Allah, there is nothing like rotation in the succession to be the Oba of Lagos,” Mr Akiolu said.

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