Home News Supreme Court Affirms Appointment of Olofa of Offa

Supreme Court Affirms Appointment of Olofa of Offa

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*Governor Ahmed asks Oba Gbadamosi to bring all Offa Indigenes together

By Mosunmola Ayobami in Ilorin

The long-drawn tussle over the Olofa of Offa throne in Kwara State has been finally laid to rest.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court affirmed the appointment of Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi, Ewusoye 11 as the authentic Olofa of Offa. The Offa chieftaincy tussle had been since after Oba Gbadamosi’s appointment.

According to The Eagle Online, Justice Walter Onnoghen delivered the unanimous judgment of the five justices.
The others were Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, Nwali Ngwuta, Mary Peter-Odili and Amiru Sanusi.

In his lead judgment, Onnoghen held that the appointment by the Kwara State Government was in line with the customs and tradition of the people of Offa.

Onnoghen held that Anilelerin is the only authentic ruling house that could ascend the thrown of Olofa, adding that the Olugbense ruling house had no historical backing.

He said: “From the history, customs and tradition of the people of Offa, it is clear that Anilelerin ruling house is the authentic and only ruling house backed by native law and authority that can ascend the throne of Olofa.”

He also dismissed the principle of rotation of the kingship in Offaland.
Onnoghen held: “If there is rotation as claimed by the Olugbense family, the principle will have started before the ascension of the immediate-past Olofa, Oba Mustapha Olanipekun.

“This court also found, as a fact, that there is no rotational policy in existence as far as the stool of Olofa of Offa is concerned.
“The claim of the Olugbense family has no historical backing and, therefore, the claim of the appellant, through a counter claim on the issue, succeeds and is hereby affirmed.”

The court also held that the ascension to the throne is by election and not by rotation as claimed by the Olugbense family.
He also declared the state government Gazette of 1970, which recognised Olugbense ruling house, was null and void because it was contrary to the customs and tradition of the people of Offa.

The apex court also set aside the judgments secured by the plaintiffs at the state High Court and the Court of Appeal Division in Ilorin.

The court, however, expressed the hope that the customs and traditions of the people, being dynamic, was subject to changes depending on the practices of people concern at the particular time.

Onnoghen said: “It is hoped that in due course Offa people, particularly the ruling house will see need and reasons to effect necessary changes to enable Olugbense descendants ascend the stool ones again.”

The court encouraged the people to talk things over and find a peaceful solution to the problem and advice the state government accordingly.

Alhaji Saka Adeyemo, Abdulrauf Adegboyega Keji and Saka Keji of Olugbense family had challenged the appointment of Gbadamosi as Esuwoye II.

They contended that the appointment contravened Section 3(3) of Kwara State Government Edict on appointment of and deposition Chief’s law of 1970.

The claimants had said the law made provision for rotation between their family and the Anilelerin family.
In their originating summons argued on their behalf by John Olusola Baiyashea (SAN), the plaintiffs claimed that it was their turn to produce the Olofa in line with the principle of rotation.

Meanwhile, Kwara State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed, has congratulated the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamasi, Ewusoye II, on the affirmation of his emergence as the Olofa of Offa by the apex court.

Governor Ahmed, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba, said the judicial victory by the Olofa should give the monarch the necessary impetus to consolidate his passion towards the development of Offa and indeed, the state.

Governor Ahmed advised Oba Gbadamasi, as the father of all, to see the judgment as a no victor no vanquished by extending hands of fellowship to all parties in the dispute. 

“I urge the aggrieved members of the royal family to regard the Olofa’s victory as a victory for all by coming together to solidify the royal knot and develop the community”.

The governor prayed God to give the Olofa the wisdom and the necessary guardians to pilot the affairs of the town and contribute more to the growth and development of Kwara State.

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