By Adeola Badru
An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan, has prohibited the declaration of curfew for the annual celebration of Oro festival in Iseyin Local Government Area of the state by adherents of the faith.
Saturday Vanguard recalls that crisis erupted during the Oro festival celebration in 2019, when the adherents and the Oro masquerade followers attacked some people in Iseyin and massacred them brutally.
The attacks were reported the same day to the Police and notified Governor ‘Seyi Makinde in a letter dated 12th October 2018 by the Chambers of A. A. Olowonjaye Esq, while a few of the attackers were arrested but later released without arraignment.
While delivering his judgement in a suit instituted by Alfa Yusuf Muyideen (for himself and on behalf of the League of Imams and Alfas, Iseyin, Justice S.L Akintola of the state High Court, held that the parties involved should settle the dispute between them on the terms that neither the applicant nor the respondents shall disturb, harass, intimidate, attack or do any act calculated to disturb, harass, intimidate or attack either in the exercise of their religious beliefs. Parties involved shall bear their respective costs.
The court further held that “the parties to this suit and respective counsel shall execute the terms of settlement dated 29th June, 2022 and filed on the same date in this case. The said terms of settlement is hereby adopted and pronounced as judgement of this court in this suit.”
Olowonjaye, while speaking at a news conference in Ibadan on the judgement delivered by Justice A.L Akintola of Oyo State High Court, said it has now become illegal for Oro worshippers to declare curfew for their festival as such would negate the ruling of the court.
He said the parties to the case which was instituted in 2019 later agreed to settle the dispute amicably and filed terms of settlement to the court on 29th June, 2022.
The main applicant in the case, Alfa Yusuf Muhyideen and the Chief Imam, Iseyin Central Mosque, Sheik AbdHakeem Olayori who was represented by Imam Abass Haadi lauded the judgement and promised to abide by the ruling urging the Oro worshippers to ensure the same.
Commenting on the judgement through a telephone interview, one of the defence counsels, Barrister Diekola Rufai said what the court was interested in was peaceful coexistence of all the parties as neither the Muslims nor the Oro worshippers should disturb each other in the course of their religious activities.
Respondents in the suit include late Oba Abdulganiy Adekunle Salaudeen, the Aseyin of Iseyin; Taju Âgées Akande, Fasola Oyewumi (The Oniko Ile Agbaa), Lamidi Aaba (Aaba Itan), Basiru Ajala (Aaba Odo), Amusa Esinjowo (Aaba Ilado), Bamimore Omonje, Idawole Ifadahunsi, Ifagbemike Adigun, Jimoh Ile Ogba, Fatai Bongo, Taju Eye, Leyin Fagbemileke, Rasheed Elebo, Toyin Ogundiran Akeeke, Olaogun Ogunyemi Olosan and Wasiu Muhyideen Olosan.