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Nigerian monarch contests his deposition in court

The former Deji of Akureland, Prince Oluwadare Adesina Adepoju  who was desposed from office by the Ondo State government in South West Nigeria for assaulting his former wife publicly have challenged before an Akure High court and prayed the court to declare the state government’s action as illegal.

Adepoju asked the Court to award him the sum of N10 billion as damages for his “unlawful deposition and banishment.

It would be recalled that the embattled Oba had on Monday dragged the Police to Court to halt his arraignment for criminal offences.

This is coming on the heels of the constitution of five member regency in council by the state government to begin the process of selecting a new traditional ruler for the town.

Members of the Council are drawn from the two ruling house, kingmakers and government representatives and are expected to administer the affairs of the town before a new Oba emerges.

The deposed Oba is equally asking court to “prevent the state government from taking further steps with a view to filling the vacant stool and also from appointing a Regent pending the determination of the suit.

In a suit filed by his client, Mr. Olusola Oke, Prince Adepoju sought for a declaration that the purported query of June 3, 2010 that formed the basis of his dethronement and banishment did not emanate from the appropriate authority.

He therefore said the query was “wrongful, illegal, unconstitutional, invalid, null, void and of no effect”.

Prince Adepoju pointed out that the “Ondo State government lacked powers to adjudicate over any criminal allegation and that the government’s action was illegal.

The suit prayed the court for a declaration that, “the executive council of Ondo State has no constitutional right to adjudicate and/or act on the criminal allegations leveled against the plaintiff as contained in the letter Ref. No. CD/C.5/Vol. XIV/35 of 3rd June, 2010 and actions taking in deposing and banishing unreasonable, unjustifiable, oppressive, illegal, invalid, unconstitutional, null, void and on of no effect.

He also sought “a declaration that the defendant’s decision banishing the plaintiff from Akureland and into Owo and/or any other place without following the intent and spirit of the provisions of the chiefs Edict 1984 as amended and constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 in unlawful, unreasonable, unjustifiable, illegal, invalid, unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect”.

The former traditional ruler also wanted the court to declare that all the reasons relied upon by the state government to depose him were illegal and unconstitutional as he was not given the opportunity to defend himself.

The deposed monarch however sought for an order setting aside his deposition and subsequent banishment from Akureland.

He also urged the court for an Order reinstating him as the Deji of Akure and “a sum of N10 billion only being exemplary and punitive damages for the unlawful, oppressive and unconstitutional conduct of the defendants which has caused the plaintiff untold hardship, disrepute and emotional trauma.

“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, either by themselves or by their agents, servants, privies and/or through any other persons however called acting for or on behalf of the defendants from further deposing, and/or further banishing, intimidating, harassing or maltreating the plaintiff herein”.

Meanwhile, the state government speaking through the Information Commissioner Rant Akerele said that the five member council would organize the process that would lead to the emergence of the new Deji.

Akerele pointed out that a representative from Akure North Council area of the state would be the Chairman while Elemo of Akure High Chief Bolanle Adedipe will be the Vic Chairman, the Aro of Akure Hgh Chief Amos Balogun, Prince Adesola Adesida and Chief Femi Alewi representing the ruling houses-Ojijigigun and Osupa.