As the Oyo State Government prepares to present a Staff of Office to the new Aseyin of Iseyin on Thursday, December 14, 2023, the governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, has been urged to stay action on the planned presentation of Staff of Office pending the determination of the suit filed on the subject matter in court.
A legal practitioner, who is the counsel to one of the contestants for the throne, urged Governor Makinde not to proceed with such an act in the interest of justice, peace, and good governance.
He contended that the state government should be conscious of the pendency of a suit delineated HOI/04/2023 before the Oyo State High Court, sitting in Iseyin, bordering on the contest of the stool of the ancient town.
In a statement, Adeniran, who is the counsel to Prince Abdulganiyu Oladeni Bolanle & Others vs. Seyi Makinde, Attorney General of Oyo State; Mogaji Amusa Ariori, the head of the Akande, Olugbile, and Majaro ruling houses; and Ikolaba of Iseyin, who is representing the kingmakers, advised the state government to take action on the development.
It will be recalled that Governor Makinde, through a recent release by his Commissioner for Information and Civil Orientation, Dotun Oyelade, hinted that the new Aseyin of Iseyin, Ọba Sefiu Olawale Oyebola, will on December 14 receive his staff of office.
However, the legal practitioner maintained that “as your excellency knows very well, whenever an injunction has been applied for and the same is pending before a court of competent jurisdiction, it is apposite for all concerned not to do anything that will affect the subject matter of the injunction until the motion for an injunction has been heard and determined by the High Court, even if no order of injunction has been made.”
According to Adeniran, “I humbly refer you to the case of Governor of Lagos State vs. Emeka Odumegu Ojukwu (1986) 1 NWLR (Pt. 18) 621/636H, where the Supreme Court stated the law as follows: “After a defendant has been notified of the pendency of a suit seeking an injunction against him, even though a temporary injunction is not granted, he acts at his peril and subject to the power of the court to restore the status wholly, irrespective of the merits as may be ultimately decided.
“On page 637B of the same case, the Supreme Court also stated as follows: The rule is well settled both by the courts of England and of this country that where a suit is brought to enjoin certain activities, for example, the erection of a building or other structure, of which the defendant has notice, the hands of the defendant are effectively tied pending a hearing and determination even though no restraining order or preliminary injunction be issued.
“In view of the above state of the law, your excellency is hereby respectfully enjoined not to do anything to fill the vacancy now existing in the Aseyin of Iseyin chieftaincy until the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction now pending before the Iseyin High Court has been heard and determined by the High Court.
“A copy of the motion on notice, which has been served on your excellency as well as all the other defendants,. You are the father of all, and we most respectfully urge you to hold the balance evenly between my clients and their opponents in this case by not allowing their opponents to steal a match against my clients by allowing them to fill the vacancy now existing in the Aseyin of Iseyin chieftaincy when my clients’ motion for injunction is still pending before the High Court,” he added.
He reiterated that “In the said suit, we are claiming against the defendants therein as follows:
A declaration that under the native law and custom of Yoruba land, and of Iseyin in particular, it is the descendants of the founder of a town that are entitled to produce the traditional ruler of that town
“A declaration that it is the family of the claimants who are the descendants of Ogbolu, the founder of Iseyin, and whose family produced the 1st to 11th Aseyins of Iseyin who are entitled to produce Aseyins of Iseyin, and an order directing the defendants to fill the vacancy now existing in the Aseyin of Iseyin chieftaincy by inviting the family of the claimants to present the next candidates for appointment as the Aseyin of Aseyin, among others.