Penultimately Wednesday, the Presiding Judge of Osun State High Court 5, sitting in Osogbo Judicial Division,Hon. Justice Ayo Oyebiyi recused himself from Alawo Chieftaincy Case before him by returning the case file back to the office of the Chief Justice of the State, Hon. Justice Adepele Ojo for reallocation of the case to another judge.
The case was adjourned for hearing by allowing the Plaintiffs to move their application for amendment but to the surprise of the Counsels and litigants in the suit with No: HOS/84/2021, the presiding Justice Oyebiyi announced during the sitting that he would no longer preside over the Suit but the case file has been returned to the State Chief Judge for reassignment.
But investigation revealed that the presiding judge rescued himself from the case due to the judgement of the Appeal Court that nullified the fraudulent appointment of one Taiwo Abdulrasaq Adegboye as new Alawo of Awo on September 13th,2021 by immediate past Governor of Osun State,Mr. Gboyega Oyetola.
The Appeal Court,Akure Judicial Division in its judgement on 8th August,2022,nulified the illegal appointment and installation of Taiwo Adegboye as new Alawo by directing him(Adegboye) not to parade himself as new Alawo elsewhere again.
Quoting the part of Appeal Court Judgement, “An order is hereby made setting aside the selection,the appointment,the approval and the installation of the second Appellant, Honourable Adegboye Taiwo Rasaq,as the Alawo of Awo, some of which acts were carried by the eight to the eleventh Respondents, and they were carried out after this appeal had been entered on the 25th of June,2021 and was pending before this Court and the second Appellant (Adegboye) is directed to vacate the Stool forthwith.
“The Second Appellant, Honourable Adegboye Taiwo Rasaq,is hereby restrained from parading himself as or performing any of the functions of the Alawo of Awo or wearing or displaying any insignia of the office of Alawo of Awo, including beads, crowns and all other paraphernalia of the stool pending the final determination of this action by the lower Court”.
Quoting the Supreme Court of Nigeria that it is trite principle of law to obey the order of the Court as contained in the case of Abacha V. Fawehinmi (2002) 2SCNQR 489 at 546 thus: “…… It is the law that a decision of a Court of competent jurisdiction,no matter that if seems palpable null and void, unattractive or unsupportable,remains good law and uncompromisingly binding until set aside by a superior Court of competent jurisdiction.”
Meanwhile, a human rights organization,the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ) has written the new Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke, exposing the usage of forgery selection documents and wrong law to install Taiwo Adegboye where Oyetola claimed that they jetitioned the due process of law and order of the Court on the appointment and installation of Adegboye because he(Adegboye) was former Councilor under the platform of All Progressives Congress ( APC).
CHRSJ insisted that Taiwo Adegboye’s appointment and subsequent installation was characterized with forgery of selection documents, flagrant disobedience to Court orders and usage of wrong law of repealed,obsolete and outdated 1957 Declaration, instead of subsisting 1979 Registered Alawo of Awo Chieftaincy Declaration.
The Petition Letter dated Tuesday 6th of December,2022 and signed by the CHRSJ’s Assistant General Secretary (AGS), Pastor Michael Agaasi, also exposing the forgery selection documents in favour of Taiwo Rasaq Adegboye, which contained different thumbprint impressions and signatures of the Head/Mogaji and Secretary of Abioye Ruling House/Compound,Awo.
Agaasi then called for unbiased investigation into the forgery allegations of selection documents in Alawo stool process by informing Governor Adeleke that no member of Abioye Ruling House/Compound, Awo, held any meeting anytime/anywhere on the acclaimed date of 24st August,2020 in purported selection documents,where officials of Egbedore Local Government,Awo, claimed to be an observers without any evidence of “Video Clip or Photograph” in this computer age,to show where the sons and daughters of Abioye Ruling House/ Compound,Awo,met to choose Taiwo Rasaq Adegboye as their candidate then.
It also faulted the claims of Egbedore Local Government officials in the purported forgery selection documents that ONLY Taiwo Rasaq Adegboye obtained the Expression of Interest Form from Abioye Ruling House/Compound,Awo,whereas it was pit of lies from the said officials contrary to the contents in their purported election/selection Letter with Reference N0: ELG.396/T/60, dated and signed by one Mrs. Olabimtan F. Abiola, Council Manager for Chairman then, adding that there were two persons including; Comrade (Prince) Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman with phone number (+2348038591504/+2348022697573) .
It insisted that the fake aforementioned documents were accepted to appoint Taiwo Adegboye illegally by former Governor through his Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Rasaq Adeosun, in flagrant disobedience to the Court order made on 27th August,2020 by Justice M.O. Agboola that all parties should maintain “Status Quo” in HED/26/2020.
It added that the case of Taiwo Adegboye was just a similar case of candidate of All Progressive Congress (APC) in 2019 Bayelsa State Governorship election where Supreme Court of Nigeria in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) & 2Ors. V. Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo & 3Ors, declared the PDP candidate who is the second run-up in the said election as winner of the Governorship election because of the forgery act of APC Deputy Governor-Elect then.
CHRSJ hinged on the premise of Governor Adeleke’s vow that ‘Rule of Law’ would be the watchword of his administration,which made him to give an executive order on the implementation of Court judgements since assumption of office.
Part of the Letter reads thus; “The process was manipulated against the CHRSJ’s Executive Chairman, Comrade (Prince) Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman (+2348038591504/+2348022697573), who is the only qualified candidate from Abioye Ruling House/Compound, Awo, for Alawo stool without having any forgery act in his favour during the purported process.
” But former Governor Gboyega Oyetola and his Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Evangelist Rasaq Adeosun,claimed that Prince Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman is the State leader of opposition to Government of All Progressive Congress (APC) and as well as strong supporter of Governor Ademola Adeleke during the 2017 Senatorial Bye-Election, Governorship election in 2018 and Governorship election in 2022 respectively.”
While urging Governor Adeleke to also respect the Appeal Court judgement on Alawo stool by ordering the security agents for immediate take over of the palace of Alawo as Adeleke did recently in respect of Owa of Igbajo,Aree and Akinrun stools, saying disrespect for the appellate Court judgement by Oyetola’s administration was bad omen for development of our democracy.
It therefore urged Governor Adeleke to set up a Judicial Administrative Panel of Inquiry(JAPI) to unravel the usage of forgery selection documents and wrong law of 1957 instead of subsisiting 1979 Chieftaincy Declaration used to appoint and install Taiwo Adegboye illegally.