In Osun State, a High Court situated in Ode Omu, Ayedaade Local Government area, has issued an order on Monday for Prince Olufemi Olayinka to step down from the position of Oku-Odo of Odo-Ijesa in Atakumosa East Local Government area, pending the resolution of the ongoing legal case. Olufemi had purportedly been installed on September 21, 2023, by certain kingmakers and government officials as the Olu-Odo Of Odo-Ijesa after an interlocutory injunction.
Previously, a prince of the town, Hammed Odeyemi, along with 11 others, brought the occupant of the throne to the state High Court on January 19, 2021. They contended that Olufemi’s occupancy of the Odo-Ijesa throne violated traditional law. Among the defendants were the State Governor, the State Attorney General, the town’s kingmakers, and Atakumosa East Local Government.
The plaintiff asserted in the main lawsuit that he had the majority support of the kingmakers and therefore should be the rightful king. On February 2, 2022, the plaintiff’s lawyer, Fatima Adesina, filed an interlocutory injunction, seeking a halt to any actions until the court made a final decision. This application was accepted by the defendant’s lawyers and presented by the plaintiff’s lawyer on June 14, 2022.
Justice M.O. Okediya, in his ruling, ordered the defendants, especially the State Governor, the State Attorney General, and Atakumosa East Local Government, along with their representatives, not to endorse or accept Olufemi as the Olu-Odo elect of Odo-Ijesa.
However, despite this order, Olufemi was allegedly installed on September 21, 2023. During the recent hearing, the plaintiff filed an application requesting the court to annul any appointment given to Olufemi for disregarding the court’s earlier order.
Olufemi’s counsel, T.A Giwa, stated that he wasn’t adequately informed about the matter and mentioned having two applications to present. Justice Okediya instructed the defense counsel to respond to the plaintiff’s application verbally, but he opted to submit a written counter-application.
Justice Okediya emphasized that installing Olufemi as the Olu-Odo of Odo Ijesa was a serious violation and disrespect for the court’s order. He stressed that when a matter is under consideration in a competent court, all related actions should be put on hold until the suit is resolved. The judge reiterated the court’s authority to nullify unlawful actions.
As a result, Justice Okediya declared that the position of Olu-Odo of Odo-Ijesa would remain vacant until the conclusion of the suit and the final ruling of the court.