The Nigerian military on Monday rescued Oba Olatunde Falabi, the Akire of Ikire, Osun, South West Nigeria from a mob attack who were on a mission to forcefully evict him.
The development the non-implementation of a Supreme Court judgement which declared Oba Falabi’s continued stay the throne as illegal after a protracted legal battle.
Spokesperson of the Nigeria police, Osun State Command, SP Opalola Yemisi, confirmed the development to newsmen, said that no life was lost during the incident.
The battle for the throne had started in 1987 after the demise of the former traditional ruler, Oba Oseni Oyegunle.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), when the process of appointing a new monarch started, one of the five ruling houses, Aketula, presented a candidate, Mr Tajudeen Olanrewaju, in line with the Akire of Ikire Chieftaincy Declaration of 1958.
Before the process of Olanrewaju’s installation could be completed, two ruling houses, Ladekan and Lanbeloye, went to court to challenge the inclusion of Aketula in the ruling houses.
An Ile-Ife High Court, Ile-Ife, where the matter was instituted, consequently stopped Olanrewaju’s installation as the monarch, while the incumbent, Oba Olutunde Falabi who has just been dethrined, was installed in May 1993.
Even though he lost at the Appeal Court, Ibadan, Olanrewaju proceeded to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court, in its judgment on April 11, 2014, affirmed that Aketula was one of the ruling houses, as provided in the 1958 Akire of Ikire Chieftaincy Declaration.
The Supreme Court also held that in view of the evidence on record, “it shows that the 1958 Declaration, in respect of the Akire of Ikire Chieftaincy stool, has not been amended or repealed”.
Following the judgment, the incumbent monarch approached an Osun High Court, praying it to restrain the state government from deposing him because he had not committed any offence warranting his removal.
He also pleaded with the court to restrain the state governor, the Commissioners for Justice, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, from deposing him while his incumbency subsisted.
Justice Abdulkareem of Osun High Court, in his judgment of June 29, 2020, however, said that Falabi whose palace was sealed by the mob on Monday, could no longer occupy the stool, based on the 1958 Akire Declaration and the rotational procedure contained therein.
TheNewspad reports that prior to the Supreme court judgment on the case, some groups of miscreants had laid siege around the palace, a development which heightened tension in the vicinity.