OSOGBO—An Osogbo High Court, Monday, ordered the Ataoja of Osogboland, Alhaji Jimoh Oyetunji Olanipekun, Larooye II, to vacate the throne with immediate effect and stop parading himself as Ataoja of Osogbo.
Justice Oyejide Falola gave the order while delivering a judgment in the suit filed by Alhaji Nasiru Oyeniyi, head of Gbaemu compound and Pa Claudious Fayoyiwa, head of Olu-Awooba compound, on behalf of Sogbo ruling House of Osogbo against the Oyetunji and the kingmakers.
The judge held that Alhaji Jimoh Oyetunji was an impostor because Justice Yinka Aderibigbe had, February 18, 2011 declared the selection process of Alhaji Oyetunji as Ataoja of Osogboland faulty and ordered him to vacate the stool immediately.
Shortly after his ruling, Justice Aderibigbe asked that the case file should be handed over to another judge of the High court saying that his life had been under serious threat.
The chief judge of the state, Justice Olaniyi Ojo however withdrew the case from Justice Aderibigbe and handed it over to Justice Falola.
At yesterday’s judgment, Justice Falola said “I wish to point out that there is no dispute that this suit was instituted before the applicant (Oyetunji Olanipekun) was appointed as the Ataoja and consequently installed by one of the defendants in this case (former governor of the state, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola)”
The judge added that, “After the installation matter degenerated, this led to the filling of application for setting aside of the installation of the appointment of Oyetunji as the Ataoja before Justice Yinka Aderibigbe who subsequently set aside Oyetunji’s installation on the 18th of February, 2011”.
“He has not given any reason why he finds it difficult to comply with the court order that set aside his installation and still came to court referring to himself as Ataoja of Osogboland. The Oba (Oyetunji) appears to be poking his finger at the eyes of the court by disregarding the earlier court order”.
“It is necessary to react promptly and declare that under the law, there is no Ataoja of Osogbo on the throne presently, the applicant (Oyetunji) is an impostor. The instrument of office has been withdrawn by a valid and subsisting order of this court since 18th of February, 2011”.
“The right which he claimed to have is declared illegal and withdrawn and he cannot be recognized as the Ataoja of Osogbo until it is reversed by the Appeal Court. The order of this court still remains valid and subsisting. Therefore, Oyetunji must vacate the throne immediately”.
Shortly after the ruling was delivered by the court, people of Osogbo trooped out in large number to jubilate the removal of Oyetunji from the throne. The people, mostly youths, took to the streets in a peaceful protest and went to the office of the commissioner of police demanding full implementation of the court order by ejecting Oyetunji from the palace.