An Oyo state high court in Ogbomoso has reserved judgment in the suit challenging the selection of Prince Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye as the new Soun of Ogbomoso till 25 October.
Olaoye cited irregularities in the procedures that produced Ghandi Olaoye and consequently prayed the court to, among other reliefs sought by him, set aside the nomination and order a fresh process.
In September, Afolabi Ghandi Laoye, a former pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) was installed as the new Soun of Ogbomoso Land in Oyo State, despite the suit challenging his nomination.
In his preliminary ruling on Tuesday, Justice AK Adedokun dismissed the three reliefs sought by one of the litigants, Prince Adeyemi Taofiq Akorede Olaoye, challenging the nomination of the new Soun of Ogbomoso by the kingmakers on Tuesday.
In the suit, Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo state is among the defendants. Others include the attorney general, commissioner for local government and chieftaincy matters, Ogbomoso North local government, Ogbomoso North Traditional Council, and Prince Amos Olawole Olaoye (Mogaji Olaoye Ruling House) who are 1st to 6th defendants respectively.
The 7th to 11th defendants are the kingmakers: Chief S.O. Otolorin (Areago of Ogbomoso and Chairman), Chief Salawu Ajadi (Jagun), Chief Tijani Abioye (Bara), Cheif David Adeniran Ojo (Ikolaba) and Chief Yusuf Oladipupo (Abese) while Prince Ghandi Olaoye, the Soun nominee, is the 12th defendant.
The claimant further argued that his father, Abdulfatai Olalekan Olaoye, being “the present Aremo and head of family of Olaoye Ruling House of Ogbomosoland,” ought to be the automatic candidate to fill the vacant stool or be given the privilege to nominate a person as a proxy to fill the vacant chieftaincy stool in his stead.
Adedokun, while delivering his judgement, noted the kingmakers formed a quorum saying in accordance with the 1953 Soun declaration law, at least four members of the kingmakers must be present at the deliberations and nomination of Soun.
He posited there was no need to appoint a warrant chief in place of the late Balogun who died before the kingmakers considered the nomination.
The judge also asserted that the process through which the selection of Prince Afolabi Ghandi Olaoye was premised is “valid, proper and legal,” just as he dismissed the prayer of eligibility on the ground that the claimant’s father is the only eligible candidate.