An Osun State High Court sitting in Ikirun has said there was no evidence showing violation of court order yet over the appointment of the Aree of Iree, Oba Ademola Oluponnle Rapheal.
This is just as it adjourned the hearing on the Preliminary Objection filed by Oba Oluponnle against the suit of the Iree Kingmakers challenging the appointment of the new monarch till January 24, 2023.
The court Presided over by Justice I.O Adeleke on Monday, heard an application by the counsel for the Kingmakers, Mr Folorunsho Apantaku, claiming that the state government and the immediate past Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Adebayo Adeleke violated the court order by appointing Oba Oluponnle as the new Aree.
Apantaku claimed that after an injunction of the court on 8th November 2022, stopping further action on the appointment of Aree, the respondents still went ahead with the appointment processes, saying such action amounted to contempt of court.
But the Counsel representing the state government, Mr Kayode Titiloye faulted the plaintiffs’ counsel, arguing that all processes regarding the appointment of Aree was completed on the 7th of November 2022 before the said injunction.
The counsel exhibited the evidence, including the letter of the Aree appointment, which shows that the processes was completed on the 7th November.
According to him, the court could only restrained an action that has not been taken, saying that ever since the 8th of November 2022, no further action has been taking, other than the fact that Iree already has a validly appointed traditional ruler.
He also argued that the motion on notice filed by the plaintiff was even not competent, as the Plaintiff/Applicant referred to as ‘Aree-in-Council’ was non-existent in law.
Counsel for Oba Oluponnle, Mr Taofeek Ibikunle also aligned with the arguments of the government counsel, saying the plaintiff counsel has not exhibited any documents showing that any further action was taken after the injunction, other than his oral evidence which could not be relied on.
He said non of the respondents has violated the court order based on the documents before the court.
The counsel explained the background of the appointment processes to the court, including how the Kingmakers abdicated their duties on three ocassions, saying all the processes were followed in line with the law.
Ibikunle further argued that “The Aree in Council” is not a juristic personality with capacity to sue and be used, saying the case against Oba Oluponnle amounts to abuse of court processes because, the first plaintiff, Chief Jagun of Iree is also the 3rd plaintiff in another case over the same subject matter.
He hinted that all document attached to the processes he filed have shown that all actions on the appointment of Obas was concluded on 7th November, noting that the court was not properly guided by the plaintifffs’ counsel as at the time the injunction was granted.
The judge then expressed readiness to hear the preliminary objection filed by Oba Oluponnle first, as he adjourned the matter till January 24, 2023 for the hearing of the preliminary objection against the substantive case.