The Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Munta Abimbola, has dismissed a suit filed by Senator Lekan Balogun and seven other Ibadan High Chiefs, contesting the validity of a consent judgment given by a state high court on November 19, 2019 in suit M/317/2017.
The judge declared that parties could proceed in the process leading to the selection of a new king, noting that there was no longer court proceeding delaying the selection and installation of the Olubadan of Ibadan.
The Chief Judge in his brief judgment on the suit Tuesday declared that the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration of 1957 stood firm and was unaffected by any step taken so far.
He affirmed that he was dismissing the suit and not striking it out as requested because issues had been joined and argued in the matter which he said was a result of the order of the appellate court pursuant to Section 16 of the Court of Appeal Act 2004.
He said, “The Appellate court held that the judgment of the lower court delivered on 19 January 2018 is set aside, and the case is submitted back to the Honourable Chief Judge of Oyo state for retrial before another judge. Parties are to file pleadings; the case was referred to another judge but instead of filing pleadings, consent judgment was entered into and this case arose from that.
“However, the claimants brought this application to discontinue the suit and predicated it on the interest of peace and there was no objection to their application. In my own view, since the court of appeal has set aside the judgment appealed against and in this case, there was a specific order of re-hearing; the judgment of the Court of Appeal stands and remains in perpetuity until reversed by a superior court.
“Now, the suit had been applied to be withdrawn, I will not hesitate to grant the withdrawal application and leave is hereby granted for the case to be withdrawn.
“But since judgment of the trial court had been set aside, the status quo before the commencement of all proceedings stands, therefore, it means there was no change in the provisions of the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration of 1957 since there is a ruling that composition of the Commission of Inquiry was not determined appropriately and therefore it is vide and irregular.
“The case is hereby dismissed but there is no order to cost,” Justice Abimbola held.