Paramount Ruler of Yewaland and the Olu of Ilaro, Mr Kehinde Olugbenle who is Chairman of the Chieftaincy Review Committee, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Kunle Osota and a Director of the Ministry, Mr Adewuyi Adesoji risk being committed to prison for interfering in the Obaship tussle for the vacant seat of the Onipokia of Ipokia, pending before a court of competent jurisdiction in Ogun State.
This was contained in a committal proceedings form 35, against the trio for contempt of Court, for interfering in an ongoing legal tussle with suit number AB/253/2019 and HCP/09/2019 between the Asade Adekanbi family of the Iwaye Dodo Ruling House and Kingmakers of Ipokia, as well as one Yisa Olaniyan among others, filed by their counsel, Mr Yemi Oke, an Associate Professor.
The Asade family, which claimed that Ogun State Government had duly nullified the purported selection of the said Yisa Olaniyan as the Onipokia, initiated by the Ipokia kingmakers in May, 2019, in a letter with Reference number, CHM.3/18 Vol. IV.84, said the High Court of Ogun State sitting at Ilaro in its ruling on the 19th of August, 2019, also declared the stool of Onipokia vacant due to gross non-compliance with the Chiefs Law of Ogun State 2006 and directed the parties to maintain status-quo pending the final determination of the matter.
The family explained that "it was then a surprise to see the Olu of Ilaro and the Chieftaincy Review Committee turning themselves into a willful tool and puppets of the defendants to usurp the judicial process and confer legitimacy on the extra judicial and illegal actions of the defendants, while the matter was still in court even before the inauguration of the Chieftaincy Review Committee".
The reaction of the family was coming on the heels of a letter claimed to have been received from the Ministry, indicating that "the issue of the Onipokia of Ipokia selection process was among the issues considered by the Chieftaincy Review Committee" and that "the committee had submitted its report to the State Government".
This according to the Family was "wrong and illegal" since "issues concerning the Onipokia Obaship tussle was still in the High Court of the State and until a final pronouncement by the legally constituted institution was made, no committee, body, entity, agency, government or individual can usurp the court’s powers to adjudicate and take final decision on the matters."
"For the records, the Chieftaincy Review Committee ought not to have sat over the dispute, deliberated or prepared a report for the government of Ogun State. The Olu of Ilaro has no business or locus standing to deliberate on the matter. Any attempt to sit over the matter or make any decision while the court is yet to dispense of the matter will not only render such activities or decisions futile, null and void but also amount to contempt of court with serious and dire legal consequences for the party involved".
"It is in line with this, that the family is requesting the court to commit Messers Olugbenle, Osota, Adesoji and other members of the Chieftaincy Review Committee to prison, for failing to retrace their letter and reports on the Onipokia Chieftaincy stool within a stipulated time of two weeks, which had since lapsed in December.”