Appeal Court dethrones monarch in Ondo

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yisa_olanipekunThe Court of Appeal sitting in Akure on Wednesday ordered the Zaki of Arigidi Akoko, Oba Yisa Olanipekun, to vacate the throne.

The court also set aside its ruling on the approval of the state government on the appointment of Olanipekun as the traditional ruler of the town.

It further validated the ruling of the State High Court which held that the approval of the state government on the appointment of Olanipekun was done in disobedience of an order of the court.

The judges were led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, and supported by Justice Cordilia Jombo-Ofo and Justice Abubakar Gumel.

They stated that the approval given to the selection of Olanipekun as the Zaki of Arigidi was done in error.

Gumel, while reading the judgment, said the lower court had on Nov. 3, 2008 ordered the parties in the suit to stay further action on the issue.

He, however, noted that the state government went ahead on Nov. 5, 2008 to approve the selection.

Gumel clarified that the injunction granted by the lower court did not affect the action taken by the kingmakers on Oct. 28, 2008.

The deposed monarch had approached the court to challenge the ruling of Justice Olasehinde Kumuyi of the State High Court which ordered him to stop parading himself as the traditional ruler of Arigidi-Akoko.

The suit in the lower court was filed by two princes, Tunde Olanipekun and Alfred Oloruntola, against Salawu Olanipekun and Yisa Olanipekun.

The lower court, apart from holding that the state government was wrong to have approved the selection, also ordered Olanipekun to stop parading himself as a monarch.

The appellate court ordered that the substantive suit be taken back to the State High Court and handled by another judge apart from Kumuyi while upholding the ruling of the lower court.

But reacting to the judgment, Olanipekun said he would approach the Supreme Court, claiming that the court did not frown at his selection by the kingmakers but at the approval by the state government.

” I am still the Zaki of Arigidi, I am still in the palace; we are heading to the Supreme Court.

“ The town is peaceful and calm and, Insha Allah, I remain the traditional ruler of the town, ‘’ Olanipekun said.

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