An Ilorin High Court on Friday dismissed a suit challenging the installation of Oba Muftau Gbadamosi, as the Olofa of Offa, in Offa Local Government Area of Kwara.
Justice Suleiman Akanbi in the judgement on the matter said that the plaintiff had failed to convince the court beyond reasonable doubt on the merit of his case.
He said that chieftaincy matters were governed by the customs and traditions of the people which must be respected.
The judge also said the plaintiff had failed to establish where his rights were infringed by the selection of the defendant.
The suit was filed by Alhaji Rauf Keji of the Olugebense Ruling House, who asked the court to void the monarch’s ascension on the ground that it was illegal.
Keji had contended that the state government and the king makers of the town erred in law by setting aside the monarchical rotation principle to favour the incumbent.
He urged the court to remove the incumbent and to instal him in his place.
he plaintiff contended that the two ruling houses of Olugbense and Anilelerin were recognised as contenders to the stool on rotational basis by the Sawyer Commission of Inquiry set up by the then military government of the state in 1969.
However the judge ruled that the Sawyer commission report was silent on the policy of rotation and that it only recognised the two ruling houses.
``Close scrutiny of Sawyer’s report did not say anything about rotation. Nothing in it to suggest rotation. It only set out recognition of the two ruling houses.
``Selection and declaration by kingmakers is done by calling a meeting of all Magajis, who will in turn forward names of eligible candidates, among whom the most successful will be picked.
``The gazette of March, 12, 1970, was ominously silent on rotation and no evidence to prove that there was rotation principle to the ascendancy to the stool between the two ruling houses.
``Having considered the extant law, there is no where it stated or established rotation principle.
``The claimants have not proved their case with credible evidence, both orally and documentary, and the issue is resolved in favour of the defendant,'' the judge declared. (NAN)