An Ondo State High Court sitting in Okitipupa has restrained the Ondo State government from appointing a King in Ugboroko forest of Ilaje Local Government Area of the State pending the determination of a suit filed by Prince Ehinminomire Oyetomi Odunyemi on behalf of the Kusedun Royal Family of Ugboland.
In Suit NO H0K/66/2022 filed at the Okitipupa Division of the State High Court, the court restrained the 1st-4th defendants/respondents, (Ondo State Governor, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and the Executive Council of Ondo State) from taking other and further steps or actions giving effect to the white paper on Hon. C.E.T Ajama Commission of Inquiry on Chieftaincy Matter and the Government White Paper thereon in respect of recognising, appointing, inauguration, presentation of instrument of staff office to, or installation of 7th defendant/respondent as Oba or Osowa of Ugboroko by whatever title pending the determination of the motion for interlocutory injunction filed in the suit.
The court further restrained the 5th and 6th defendants/respondents (the Chairman and Secretary of Ilaje Local Government Chieftaincy Committees) from recognising, countenancing, or in any manner whatsoever according Mr Kolawole Arowojolu, who is the 7th defendant, the status of the Oba in Ugboroko by whatever title or in any other part of the claimant’s territory pending the determination of the motion for interlocutory injunction filed in the suit.
The court also restrained the government from issuing any document, letter, or instrument of appointment to the 7th defendant against inaugurating or installing him as Osowa or Oba in Ugboroko in whatever title until the suit before the court is determined.
In the suit, the Claimant, Prince Ehinminomire Oyetomi Odunyemi on behalf of the Kusedun Royal Family of Ugboland in Ilaje Local Government, had stated that Ugboroko (deep forest) is part of the land of Abetobo under the Baale of Abetobo and subject to the Prescribed Authority of the Olugbo of Ugbo in Ilaje Local Government.
The Claimant further averred in their Statement of Claim that Osowa of Ugboroko which was recognised by the State Government on the recommendation of the Justice Ajama Commission of Inquiry is not an existing Chieftaincy and that Ugboroko does not have a structure or any sign of human habitation.
His Lordship, Hon. Justice D. I. Kolawole, granted the Motion Exparte for interim injunction on the 5th day of December, 2022, and similarly restrained the 7th defendant in the interim from wearing any apparel or in any manner parading himself or allow himself to be paraded as an Oba of Ugboroko or any other territory of the Claimant as Osowa or by any other title whatsoever pending the determination of the motion on notice.
“The orders granted in the interim shall last for 14 days unless there is an order extending it to a further period. The application for extension of the life of orders shall be made before the expiration of the 14 days lifespan of the order”, the court added.
Starnews Nigeria reports that the motion on notice was adjourned to December 14, 2022.