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Oke-Onigbin Stool: Ruling family writes Kwara CJ over re-assigned case



Oke-Onigbin Stool: Ruling family writes Kwara CJ over re-assigned case

The Odo-Oja ruling house of Oke Onigbin community in Isin local government area of Kwara State has appealed to the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Durosilohun Kawu, to allow Justice A. A. Adebara deliver his decision on the chieftaincy tussle before him.

The family also expressed dissatisfaction over the sudden transfer of the matter from the presiding through a motion on notice filed by its lead counsel, Barrister Tosin Samuel Alawode, copies made available to journalists in Ilorin on Tuesday challenging the procedure as unwarranted.

It would be recalled that the Odo-Oja ruling house had instituted an action to challenge the appointment of Mr. Kamaldeen Salahudeen as the Onigbin of Oke Onigbin vide a Writ of Summons issued on the 6th of July, 2017 wherein the case assigned to Hon. Justice A. A. Adebara sitting at Offa.

Barrister Alawode further stated that, “They sued the appointed Oba, two of the Kingmakers and the Governor of Kwara State as Defendants in the matter. The appointed Oba and the two kingmakers filed a notice of preliminary objection challenging the competence of the suit which was argued on 23rd of October, 2017 and Hon. Justice A. A. Adebara, reserved his decision to a date to be communicated to the parties.”

According to the motion on notice dated 5th march 2018, Barrister Alawode maintained that, “When there was no information from the Court on when the decision would be delivered after about four months from the date parties argued the objection, our team discovered with shock on Friday March 2, 2018, that the matter had been withdrawn from Hon. Justice A.A Adebara since December, 2017 and transferred to another Judge, Justice Umar by the order of the Chief Judge of Kwara State.

“Whilst they were waiting to receive a notice for the delivery of the decision of the court, Chief Samuel Abolarinwa, the head of the Odo-Oja ruling family stated the position of the family shortly after a meeting held on Monday March 5, 2018.

“He said that neither them nor their lawyers was given a notice or informed of any application to transfer the matter from Hon. Justice A. A. Adebara to another other Judge. The family stated that they have no reason to doubt the competence, integrity and neutrality of Hon. Justice A. A. Adebara to do justice in the matter and the reason(s) for the transfer of the matter, if any, cannot be justified especially when Hon. Justice A. A. Adebara only heard the matter once and heard arguments for and against the preliminary objection.”

It added that, “The ruling house believe, which they hold strongly, that the act of transferring this matter to another Judge is totally uncalled for and an interference with the judicial proceedings of the matter to prejudice them by using the Chief Judge of Kwara State. This is so because only the Chief Judge of a state has the power and discretion to assign and re-assign a matter or suit to any judge in such state.

“The discretion however, to re-assign a matter or suit already assigned to a sitting judge is exercised usually in the circumstance where there is petition alleging bias or likelihood of bias against the said initially judge, death, retirement from service, incapacitation on health grounds or the transfer or promotion of the said judge. In this circumstance, the family is not aware that any of the circumstances stated above have materialized to have warranted the transfer.”

Barrister Alawode therefore argued that, “As parties in the case, we are entitled to be given audience in respect of all and any issues and not be treated with such disdain in the manner the matter is transferred without our knowledge.”



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Oke-Onigbin Stool: Ruling family writes Kwara CJ over re-assigned case

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