A former pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Prince Afolabi Ghandi Laoye, on Friday, was installed as the new Soun of Ogbomosoland in Oyo State.
Laoye, who was based in the United States of America, arrived in Ogbomoso early in the morning in a private chopper, which landed at Ogbomoso Grammar School, before moving to the palace.
It will be also be recalled that the Soun of Ogbomoso stool became vacant after Oba Jimoh Oyewumi transited to the great beyond, on December 12, 2021.
However, some members of the family opposed the approval, thereby heading to court, arguing that he was not part of the process right from the beginning and that he shouldn’t be crowned against their wish.
The family members instituted the suit, marked HOG/27/2022, in July 2022, against the nomination of Ghandi Olaoye by the kingmakers, citing various irregularities in the procedures that produced him thereby praying the court to, among other reliefs, set aside the nomination and to order a fresh process.
The judge, A.K. Adedokun, fixed the judgement day after Olaoye’s counsel, Oladapo Atanda, and Kolawole Fatoye, who represented Ghandi and the kingmakers adopted their processes and presented their arguments for and against the suit.
The defendants in the case include the Oyo State Governor, Oyo State Attorney General, Oyo State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Ogbomoso North Local Government, Ogbomoso North Traditional Council, and Prince Amos Olawole Olaoye (Mogaji Olaoye Ruling House) who are 1st to 6th defendants respectively.
The 7th to 11th defendants are the kingmakers: Chief S.O. Otolorin (Areago of Ogbomoso and Chairman), Chief Salawu Ajadi (Jagun), Chief Tijani Abioye (Bara), Cheif David Adeniran Ojo (Ikolaba) and Chief Yusuf Oladipupo (Abese) while Prince Ghandi Olaoye, the Soun nominee, is the 12th defendant.
The plaintiff, while claiming that the regulations guiding the nomination to fill the vacant stool of Soun Chieftaincy Ogbomoso which include the Soun Chieftaincy Declaration (1958), Ogbomoso District Native Authority Resolution (1953) and Oyo State Chiefs Law (2000) were grossly violated, sought relief that the procedure for Ghandi’s nomination was inconclusive in that a minority committee performed the task instead of the whole members of the family.
“A declaration that the procedure adopted for the nomination of candidate or candidates to fill the vacant stool of Soun of Ogbomoso Chieftaincy by the members of Laoye Ruling House through the purported 11-member screening committee was inconclusive.
“The member of the Olaoye ruling house as a family was denied their legal right of having a final say in voting and/or ratifying the aforesaid report at the time the kingmakers acted upon it, not strictly the method envisaged under the native law and custom, the Laoye ruling house as a body entitled to nominate a candidate for appointment to the stool of Soun and not by the minority of the members of the larger body.”
He wanted the court to declare that the active participation of the 4th defendant (Ogbomoso North Local Government) in the process leading to the emergence of Ghandi Olaoye rather than being a mere observer invalidates the process.
The claimant, therefore, sought orders of the court to set aside the nomination of Ghandi, noting the procedure that produces him contravenes native law and custom for the selection of a candidate for selection of a new Soun.
In addition, the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 12th defendants represented by Kolawole Fatoye, Olalekan Oguntoye and O.E. Igene filed counter-claims to which the claimant also filed defence.
The legal team of 7th to 10th defendants which also represented Ghandi, urged the court to “dismiss the claim and grant the counterclaim” noting that “all the procedure as itemized above clearly showed that the 12th defendant was duly nominated by the Laoye ruling house and selected by the kingmakers.”
It asserted that the plaintiff filed “this action because the selection did not favour him having participated along with others in the nomination and selection exercise.”
The judge, Adedokun, therefore, fixed October 3 for the judgement.
On Saturday, September 2, however, the state Governor, Seyi Makinde, had in a statement by his Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Olusegun Olayiwola, approved the selection of Olaoye as the next Soun.
Again, on Thursday, the state High Court in Ogbomoso restrained the governor, the Attorney General of the State and the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters either by themselves, agents, or officials from presenting any instrument of office in any form of ceremony or issuance of the certificate of installation to Olaoye until the final determination of the mandatory injunction already filed before the court.
However, the new monarch was at the palace, on Friday, for an official installation which was performed at Abata by the kingmakers led by the Areago High Chief Sobalaje Otolorin.
The kingmakers said they did not receive any court injunction restraining them from installing Ghandi as the new Soun of Ogbomoso.
He is billed to commence the traditional rites soon.
The new Oba is proclaimed His Imperial Majesty, Oba Ghandi Afolabi Olaoye Orumogege III.