Ojo Prince Asks Court To Dethrone Olojo

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An aggrieved candidate to the throne of Olojo of Ojo, Prince Tajudeen Adewale Jimoh, has instituted a legal action to challenge the appointment of Oba Galib Adeniyi Rufai as the new Olojo of Ojo in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State.

Prince Jimoh, a contender to the throne, in his writ of summons is praying for a declaration that under and by virtue of the prevailing customary law in Ojo town, Lagos State, as codified by the amended declaration for Olojo which became operative only upon registration, it is the turn of the Ikemo Ruling House to produce and present a candidate for ascension to the throne of Olojo of Ojo.

Beside praying the court for a declaration that Oba Rufai is not a member of Ikemo Ruling House, Prince Jimoh who sued for himself and on behalf of Ikemo Ruling House is also seeking a declaration that himself, having been nominated by the Ikemo Ruling House, he is the rightful person to be installed as the Olojo of Ojo.

While praying the court for a declaration that having regard to the amended chieftaincy declaration for Ojo Town, the Iloro Ruling House is not entitled to produce and present any candidate for ascension to the throne of Olojo of Ojo until after the turn of the Ikemo Ruling House. Prince Jimoh further prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining Oba Rufai from parading himself as the Olojo of Ojo Town.

In the affidavit sworn in support of his statement of claim, Prince Jimoh averred that Oba Rufai is not a member of the Ikemo Ruling House; this is even as he contended that the monarch’s appointment did not follow due process of law. Among others, Prince Jimoh averred that on 1 March, 2011, Oba Rufai claimed to be a descendant of Ade Ife, a position he contends the monarch later changed.

Meanwhile, Oba Rufai in his amended statement of defence said that at a family meeting held on 27 June, 2010 which was attended by 65 members of the ruling house, he was unanimously chosen as the candidate to be forwarded to the kingmakers for appointment as the Olojo of Ojo.

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He also said that in order to make up for the shortfall in the number of kingmakers who had earlier joined their ancestors, three oba were appointed as warrant kingmakers in their place. He gave the names of the appointees to include Oba Goriola Yushau Oseni (Oniba of Iba), Oba Momodu Afolabi Ashafa (Onijanikin of Ijanikin and Oba Olanrewaju Aina (Oloto of Oto Awori).

He further contended that his name was later forwarded by the kingmakers to the appropriate authority for appointment as he is from Ikemo Ruling House from Akinlodi branch. This is even as he contended that his father is the current head of the family of Ikemo Ruling House.

Beside Oba Rufai, other defendants in the suit include the executive governor of Lagos State, the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Chieftaincy Committee, Ojo Local Government and the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State. Others are Council of Oba and Chiefs in Lagos State, Chief Atiku Badmus, Alhaji Olorunfunmi and Prince Adeyemi Mufutau Ayilara.

The matter has been adjourned till 2 May, 2012.

—Moses Falobi