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Ibadan High Chiefs Make U-Turn, Decide To Continue With Court Case

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The hope of Ibadan indigenes to get a new King in the city might not be realized earnest as there has been a new twist to the controversy surrounding the nomination, appointment, approval and announcement of Oba Lekan Balogun, who is the next in line to the throne, as the new Olubada.

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It will be recalls that, governor Seyi Makinde, Olubadan-elect, Lekan Balogun, and other members of Olubadan-in-Council held a closed door meeting at the Governor’s house, Agodi Ibadan, where an agreement was made to resolve all lingering crisis delaying the announcement of new Olubadan of Ibadan land.

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According to Osi Olubadan who spoke on behalf of the High chiefs after the meeting with the state governor, he said Micheal Lana (his lawyer), the state government lawyer and that of the other High Chiefs are to meet with a view to withdraw the pending case in court, added that it is after then that the process for the installation of the new Olubadan will commence”.

In a new development to the issue,
Westerndailynews.com, gathered that Balogun and other members of the Olubadan-in-Council who were crowned Obas in 2017 are yet to fulfill their pledge to Governor Seyi Makinde that they would withdraw a case challenging a consent judgment earlier given on the matter. 

It was reliably informed that rather than withdraw the case as they promised Governor Seyi Makinde at a meeting held in Government House two weeks ago, they appear to have resolved to see it to the end. 

At the hearing of the case on January 14, Justice Munta Abimbola, who is the Chief Judge of the state, directed parties in the suit to further address the court on the validity or otherwise of the consent judgment in view of the decision of the Appeal Court. 

The parties, through their lawyers, are to address Justice Abimbola on Tuesday [February 1]. When pressed for comment on whether moves had been made to withdraw the case, a former Attorney General of the state, Michael Lana, told Sunday Tribune that he was surprised to see that Balogun’s lawyers have filed a further written address instead of filing a notice of withdrawal of the case. 

Lana, who is counsel for one of the defendants, said he and other lawyers had wanted to appeal the decision of Justice Abimbola that the parties address the court on the validity or otherwise of the consent judgment, but decided against doing so since the claimants said they would withdraw the case. 

“We had 14 days to appeal the decision, but waited in view of the claimants’ expression of intent to withdraw the case as expressed during their meeting with Governor Makinde. 

“But instead of a notice of withdrawal of the case,” he said, “we received their argument which they have filed before the court on the validity or otherwise of the consent judgment,” he said. 

He said he had no choice than to approach the Appeal Court to challenge the issue of validity or otherwise of the consent judgment raised by Justice Abimbola. 

According to him, the appeal was filed on Thursday, January 27, one day to the expiry of 14 days within which such action must be taken. 

On the implication of the appeal, he said the case at the High Court would have to wait for the appeal to be decided. 

The High Chiefs made obas are in court to challenge the consent judgment which set aside the gazette that recognised them as obas. Reacting to the development, the Senator representing Oyo South and younger brother to the Olubadan-designate, Dr Kola Balogun, gave an assurance that “the whole world will clap for Ibadan and our unique approach to handling matters this week.

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