Ibadan chieftaincy review: Judge hands off Ladoja’s case
A suit challenging the review of the Olubadan chieftaincy law filed by the Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland and ex- governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, against Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s administration yesterday suffered a setback as Justice M.I Sule of Oyo State High Court who was handling it returned the case file to the Chief Judge, Justice Munta Abimbola.
Justice Oladiran Akintola had handled the case before it was transferred to Justice Sule.
Akintola had allegedly refused to hear an ex-parte application meant to stop the panel from sitting, prompting Ladoja to petition the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.
The judge, at the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, said in a ruling that she would not want to start a case she would not be able to complete before the court would proceed on vacation on September 12.
She said she had two rulings pending before her that she must dispense with before proceeding on vacation, adding that the Chief Judge would know what to do with the matter.
Lead counsel to Ladoja, Michael Lana, at the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, accused Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Oluwaseun Abimbola of working to frustrate the matter by refusing to file necessary processes timeously with a view to allowing time for the process of installing the new Obas to be concluded.
Lana reminded the court that the defendant had gone ahead to issue letters of appointment to the 21 Obas and “purportedly held a coronation ceremony which was heavily advertised and shown live on television”, actions which he considered as contemptuous of court and which courts had condemned several times.
Submitting that such act must not be allowed to go unpunished, Lana said that he had earlier requested the Judge to stand down the matter for 30 minutes to enable him file a response to a preliminary objection filed and served on Tuesday by the Attorney-General.
Abimbola, however, denied using delay tactics, arguing that an amendment of reliefs being sought by the claimant and which had structurally affected the originating summons, had informed the delay in filing some processes.
He said the contempt application filed by Ladoja’s lawyer was based on sentiment, advising the claimant’s lawyer not to give the impression that the state High Court was winding down because of annual vacation.