Court Orders Removal of Soun of Ogbomoso, Orders New Selection.
In a groundbreaking ruling, the Oyo State High Court in Ogbomoso has ordered the removal of the recently appointed Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Ghandi Olaoye, following a judgment delivered by Justice K.A Adedokun.
The court deemed the process that led to Oba Olaoye‘s selection as illegal and has consequently mandated a fresh election to determine the new king.
The judgment, delivered on Wednesday, has sent shockwaves through the ancient town of Ogbomoso and beyond. Justice K.A Adedokun’s decision underscores the significance of adhering to legal processes in the appointment of traditional rulers.
Governor Seyi Makinde had, on September 2, 2023, given his approval for Mr. Olaoye to assume the vacant stool left behind by the late Oba Jimoh Oyewunmi Agunbiade III. Oba Agunbiade had reigned for 48 years before his passing in December 2021 at the age of 95.
Despite a court order restraining Oba Olaoye’s installation, issued as a result of a suit filed by Kabir Olaoye, the kingmakers of Ogbomoso inaugurated Mr. Olaoye as the new Soun on September 8, 2023.
Kabir Olaoye, the plaintiff in the suit, argued that the new monarch, a former pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, did not meet the eligibility criteria to ascend the throne. He further contended that the selection process itself was marred by flaws, and these arguments have now been upheld by the court’s verdict.
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The court’s decision to annul Oba Olaoye’s appointment and order a fresh selection is expected to initiate a new chapter in the history of Ogbomoso’s traditional leadership. It emphasizes the importance of adhering to legal procedures and the rule of law in matters of such cultural and historical significance.
Ogbomoso, like other parts of Nigeria, places a strong emphasis on its traditional institutions, and this ruling serves as a reminder that these institutions must uphold the law and due process.