Thursday, August 20

Governor Ambode asks court to reverse order on Ayangburen stool

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has urged a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja to reverse the order it made last Friday to stop the coronation ceremony to fill the vacant stool of Ayangburen, the traditional ruler of Ikorodu Kingdom, in Lagos State.

The Ayangburen stool had become vacant on August 1, 2014 after the passage of Oba S.A.A. Oyefusi.

Last week Friday, a court presided over by Justice O.O. Ogungbesan stopped the coronation ceremony to fill the stool, which had been scheduled for last Saturday.

The judge had restrained Ambode or anyone acting under his authority from going ahead to crown the Odofin of Ikorodu, Chief Kabiru Shotebi, as the new Ayangburen of Ikorodu Kingdom.

The judge also restrained Shotebi from either “presenting himself for coronation” or “parading himself as the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, or actualising any recognition thereon as such, or exercising any of the Ayangburen royal functions,” pending the determination of a suit filed by one Odupitan Eniola, from the Lambo branch of the Lasunwon chieftaincy family of Ikorodu Kingdom.

The coronation ceremony, however, reportedly held last Saturday as scheduled.

On Thursday, Ambode, who was represented in court by a state counsel, Mr. S.A. Quadri, urged the judge to vacate the order, saying it was made in error.

Quadri, who described the ex parte application that led to the order as an abuse of court processes, pointed out that the order was made after Shotebi had already been given the staff of office.

According to Quadri, former Governor Babatunde Fashola had, on May 26, 2015, installed Shotebi as the new Ayangburen after Shotebi was presented to him at the 17th meeting of the State Executive Council held on May 25, 2015.

Quadri added that, contrary to the facts presented before the court, the event which took place on Saturday was not the coronation per se, but a mere social gathering to celebrate Shotebi’s installment as a monarch.

“The ceremony which took place on the 15th day of August 2015 is a mere fun fare organised by the Ikorodu community and the 1st defendant (Shotebi) to celebrate his ascension to the throne of his fore fathers and to accord notable distinguished personalities with chieftaincy titles.

“The 1st defendant was surprised when it became news that a ruling was delivered on the 14th day of August 2015 pursuant to an ex parte application restraining the 1st defendant and other defendants from proceeding with the coronation fixed for the 15th day of August.

“The ex parte ought not to have been granted if the afore said facts were revealed to the honourable court.

“The order was obtained by misrepresentation of facts and should be set aside,” one Usman Danboyi, a Chief of State Counsel, said in the affidavit filed in support of Ambode’s application.

Also in court on Thursday was the lawyer for the Ikorodu kingmakers, Mr. Olusegun Fabunmi, who had also raised a preliminary objection, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the case.

The kingmakers – Chief Zacheus Odusoga, Chief Afolabi Adekanyaoja, Chief Karimu Ore and Chief Jacob Adaraloye – are urging the court to not only vacate the restraining order but to dismiss the entire suit.

Their lawyer, Fabunmi, who described the suit as an abuse of court processes, claimed that the subject matter had already been determined by Justice M.A. Savage of the Ikorodu Division of the court on February 5, 2015.

Fabunmi urged the court to vacate the order restraining Shotebi from exercising authority in the capacity of Ayangburen, Fabunmi.

The applicant, Eniola, through his lawyer, Mr. Joseph Okobiemen, had approached Justice Ogungbesan seeking an order to halt the coronation of Shotebi, who hailed from the Adegorushe branch of the Lasunwon chieftaincy family, as the new Ayangburen of Ikorodu Kingdom.

The applicant claimed that it was the turn of the Lambo branch of the Lasunwon chieftaincy family, from which he came, to present the next Ayangburen, adding that he had been nominated by the family to be crowned as the new Ayangburen at meetings held on September 7 and 21, 2014.

Eniola claimed that the Adegorushe family had already benefitted after Shotebi became the Odofin of Ikorodu kindgom, following a court judgment on April 1, 2009 in a suit marked IKD/57/2007.

The judge has adjourned the matter till October 6, 2015 for mention.

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