An Oyo State High Court judge, Justice Olajumoke Aiki on Thursday handed off a public interest case instituted by the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, against Governor Abiola Ajimobi on the review of the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration Law.
That was after hearing an application by Governor Ajimobi seeking reassignment of the case to another judge in the interest of justice and fair hearing.
Justice Aiki who ordered the return of the case file to the state Chief Judge said he had no personal interest in the case.
Oba Adetunji had joined 23 others as respondents in the suit.
They are: the Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice and Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, eight out of the 11 members of the Olubadan-in-Council installed as beaded-crown wearing monarchs by the state government and the 13 baales (village heads) also installed as coronet-wearing kings on the same day.
The 21 new kings were enthroned in Ibadan on August 27, last year.
The case was listed for ruling on the preliminary objections raised by Ajimobi and other defendants that Olubadan did not have locus standi to file the matter.
Justice Aiki averred that the CJ would exercise his discretionary powers on the case file because he is the judicial, administrative head and the assigning authority of the court.
The case file was sent back to the CJ after the arguments for and against the application by the parties in the matter.
Counsel to Ajimobi and the two commissioners in the case, Nurudeen Adegboye, told reporters that the letter was written “because our client believes that the case on which judgment has been delivered arose from the same subject matter with the Olubadan’s”.
Having delivered a judgment on the other case, he said it was clear that the judge made his position known on the issues pending before the court.
Counsel to the fourth to 11th defendants, Abdul-Azeez Mohammed, and counsel to the 12th to the 24th defendants, Kunle Sobaloju, aligned with the application.
They urged the court to await the CJ’s decision before taking further steps on the matter.
But the Olubadan’s lawyer, Niyi Ajewole said the application was an attempt to arrest the court’s ruling.
The lawyer said Oba Adetunji would eventually get justice in the matter.
A fortnight ago, Justice Aiki delivered a judgment in the case filed by the Osi Olubadan, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, on the same subject, declaring the enthronement a nullity.