There was palpable apprehension in Ikire town, headquarters of Irewole Local Government Council Area of Osun State as a High Court sitting in the town delivers judgment on the faith of Akire of Ikire, Oba Olatunde Falabi.
The stool has been a subject of litigation for over two decades and has been to the Supreme Court.
As at 10 am on Monday, armed and unarmed policemen were stationed at strategic places including the palace in Ikire and court premises.
Prince Tajudeen Olarewaju of Aketula ruling House has filed a suit against the installation of the monarch on the ground that he was not entitled to the throne as at the time he was installed based on the 1958 Akire Chieftaincy Declaration.
The legal tussle on Akire of Ikire erupted after the demise of the late Akire, Oba Oseni Oyegunle on the 5th August 1987 and as at the time, according to legal advice from the Court of Appeal, Ibadan, the ruling houses entitled to the throne were in the order of, Aketula, Ladekan, Lambeloye, Disamu, and Omisokan.
According to the legal advice dated, January 27, 1993, it showed that efforts to get the new Akire nominated from Aketula ruling house were frustrated by court action through injunction secured by Lambeloye ruling house which Oba Falabi belongs to the restraining government from implementing the 1958 Chieftain Declaration which placed Aketula to produce the next monarch for the town.
It was in the same legal advice that it was stated that if the Higher Court grant the appellant’s (Tajudeen Olanrewaju) request, the Akire, Oba Falabi would be deposed, but if the appeal fails, the monarch would retain the seat.
Subsequently, Prince Olanrewaju filed a suit that ran through to the Supreme Court, where the highest court of the land agreed that Aketula’s ruling house was entitled to the throne.
The highest court of the land held that “In view of the fact that evidence on record shows that the 1958 declaration in respect of Akire of Ikire Chieftaincy stool has not been amended or repealed, it subsist which means that there are five ruling houses in Ikire for which the appellant is one of them.
“Based on the above, and the more detailed reasons given in the lead judgment, I agree that the appeal has merit. I accordingly allow this appeal”, the judgment delivered by Justice John Inyang Okoro read.
Subsequently, Prince Olanrewaju of Aketula ruling house approached the High Court sitting in Osogbo in a suit he filed against the Governor of Osun, the State Attorney General, and the State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
In the suit, he sought an order of the court granting leave “to bring an application for judicial review to wit mandamus to compel the respondents to give legal and full compliance to the legal advice dated 27th January 1993 which was the instrument relied upon by the respondents to install the Akire of Ikre land particularly, Paragraph 16 of the referred legal advice which is yet to be given strict and full compliance.”
As at the time of filing this report, the judge is yet to sit but security operatives surrounded the court to curb any possible trouble within and around the High Court premises.