Oba of Lagos stool: Court adjourns for out-of-court settlement

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BY ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH & BARTHOLOMEW MADUKWE

LAGOS — Justice Samuel Candide-Johnson of a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere yesterday adjourned till May 5, 2014 for report of settlement in respect of a suit challenging the legality of Oba Riliwan Akiolu’s accession to the throne of Oba of Lagos.

The court adjournment was not without a drama when the presiding Judge, Justice Samuel Candide-Johnson shouted down a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Mr. Babatunde Fashanu over whether or not the court should adjourn the case for report of settlement or for definite trial.

The claimants, Prince Sammy Adedoyin Adebiyi and Prince Rasheed Modile had eleven years ago filed the suit asking the court to set aside the appointment and installation of  Akiolu as the Oba of Lagos.

Joined as respondents in the suit are Governor of Lagos State, Attorney-General of the State, Prince Babatunde Akitoye, and Chief Junaud Eko.

When the matter came up yesterday, the claimants’ lawyer, had told Justice Candide-Johnson that he was prepared for trial as agreed at the last adjourned date and that his first witness was in court.

However the government’s lawyer, Mr Lawal Pedro (SAN), announcing his appearance said he was equally prepared for trial, but he may not proceed because of power outage.

Pedro, who is the Solicitor General of the state, also brought the court’s attention to a letter written by one of the traditoional rulers in the state, Oba of Oniru Land, Abiodun Idowu Oniru, requesting that he should be allowed to mediate between parties to see to an out of court settlement.

Akiolu’s lawyer, Aderemi Bashau and fifth defendant’s lawyer, L.O Kareem confirmed Oniru’s letter, and said they were not opposed to any settlement move.

On his part, claimants’ counsel,  Fashanu said he was not opposed to any settlement move, but that the court should not have encouraged a letter from an individual, who is not a party to the suit, no matter how highly or lowly placed.

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