Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos State, Governor, has called on the state high court to dismiss a suit challenging the recent installation of Hakeem Ajasa as the Oniru of Iruland.
The suit is seeking for a perpetual injunction restraining Ajasa “from parading himself as Oba Oniru of Lagos or performing either traditional ceremonies or rites pertaining to the installation of Oba Oniru of Lagos until a new selection is made in the appropriate customary manner or in accordance with Section 9(1) of the Obas and Chiefs of Lagos State Law 1981.”
The suit was filed before Justice Owolabi Dabiri of the Lagos High court sitting in Igbosere.
The plaintiffs are Alhaja Afusatu Kabiawu, Alhaji Surajudeen Durosimi and Alhaja Wosilatu Fatosha.
Ajasa is the third defendant in the suit alongside the Governor of Lagos State and the state’s Attorney General.
They are seeking for a court declaration that it was the turn of the Abisogun Ruling House to nominate a candidate to fill the Oniru stool following the demise of Oba Idowu Abiodun.
The plaintiffs also contended that Ajasa’s nomination was invalid as he “is not a member of the Abisogun Ruling House and is not in any way related to Abisogun by blood.”
However Sanwo-Olu and the state’s Attorney General, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), in a preliminary objection, filed before the court, they are asking the court to strike out the suit for being incompetent.
The governor and the AG submitted that the suit did not comply with “condition precedent” as the plaintiffs failed to exhaust statutory remedy provided in the extant Chieftaincy Declaration regulating succession to the Oniru of Lagos stool before they rushed to court.
The defendants said, “Clause 5 of Paragraph 5 of the declaration specifically provides that if there is a dispute on the choice of a candidate to fill the vacancy and the family head and other members of the family are unable to resolve it, the head of the family (Arole) shall report this matter, in writing, to the Oba of Lagos, who in turn shall refer it to an ad hoc committee made up of chiefs in the class to which the chieftaincy belongs for consideration and report to the Oba-in-Council.
The Oba shall then forward the recommendation of the Oba-in-Council to the secretary to the competent local government.”
“The claimants have neglected or failed to take advantage of this remedy before coming to this court.”
They, therefore, urged the court to strike out the suit.