An Oyo State High Court has dismissed the suit challenging the consent judgment that nullified the promotion of Ibadan High Chiefs as Obas under the late Senator Abiola Ajimobi led government in the state.
The judgement cleared the coast for the appointment of Lekan Balogun as the new Olubadan of Ibadan, The PUNCH reports.
Controversies had surrounded the nomination, appointment, approval, and announcement of Oba Lekan Balogun, who is the next in line to the throne, as the new Olubadan.
In a bid for Lekan to be appointed, Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, asked the kingmakers to discontinue the case.
The High Chiefs – promoted Obas – were in court to challenge the consent judgment which set aside the gazette that recognised them as Obas.
Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Munta Abimbola, gave the verdict at a sitting at Court One of the Oyo State High Court, according to Radio Nigeria.
The PUNCH had reported on Monday that Lekan Balogun and other members of the Olubadan-in-Council who were crowned Obas in 2017 have written to their lawyer, Kunle Sobaloju, to withdraw their case challenging a consent judgment on their elevation from high chiefs to Obaship status.
While dismissing the case, Justice Abimbola explained that the withdrawal of the suit by the High Chiefs indicated termination of all litigations on the case.
The Chief Judge explained further that the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration of 1957 remained valid and any contrary declaration should be disregarded.
Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, had sued former Governor Abiola Ajimobi and the inquiry commission that recommended the high chiefs for crowning the high chiefs, arguing that they violated the 1957 Ibadan Chieftaincy Declaration.
Ladoja won at the state High Court as Justice Olajumoke Aiki set aside the gazette as well as the decisions made based on it.
But dissatisfied with the judgment, Ajimobi appealed.
The Appellate Court, in its decision, set aside Aiki’s decision on technical grounds and directed a retrial of the case.
Makinde, who inherited the case, called for an out-of-court settlement and a return to the status quo.
The terms of the settlement were entered as consent judgment by the court, putting a closure on the matter.
But Balogun and others later expressed displeasure and filed a fresh suit against the judgment.
If not for the just-dismissed case, a new Olubadan should have been named after Oba Saliu Adetunji passed away on January 2, 2022.