The Court of Appeal, Ilorin on Tuesday nullified the appointment and installation of Alhaji Mufutau Gbadamosi as Olofa of Offa. The court also issued an order restraining him from parading himself as the traditional ruler of the Offa community forthwith.
While delivering the lead judgment, read by Justice Hussein Muhktar, the court noted that the evidence before it clearly showed that the ascension to the stool of the Olofa is by rotation between two ruling houses, the Olugbense ruling house, who are the appellants and the Anilelerin ruling house, the respondents.
It was also held by the court that the rotation principle in the town had been established since 1969 when the late Oba Keji from the Olugbense ruling house agreed to step down from throne and allowed the Late Oba Mustapha Olawoore from the Anilelerin ruling house to ascend the throne, in order to allow peace to reign in Offa. The court stated that that was achieved after the intervention of the state government.
The Appeal Court thereafter set aside the decision of the High Court sitting in Offa delivered on 19 July 2012 by Justice S.M Akanbi which upheld the appointment and installation of Alhaji Mufutau Gbadamosi as the Olofa of Offa. The appellate court nullified the appointment and installation of Oba Gbadamosi, granting all the reliefs of the appellants. The court also ruled that Oba Gbadamosi should stop parading himself as the Olofa of Offa, while the state government was ordered to immediately install Prince Abdulrauf Adegboyega Keji, who is from Olugbense ruling house as the new Olofa of Offa.
John Baiyeshea, SAN, counsel to the Olugbense ruling house had approached the Court of Appeal with dissatisfaction over the ruling of the High Court. He claimed that Oba Gbadamosi’s ascension did not come on a rotational basis, rather, it came by competition between the two ruling houses.
The Appeal Court granted the prayers of the Olugbense ruling house, ruling that ascension to the stool of the Olofa between the two ruling houses is rotational, and that Anilelerin ruling house having produced the immediate past Olofa of Offa who ruled for over forty years, it is now the turn of the Olugbense ruling house in law and/or equity to produce the next Olofa of Offa on the basis of rotation, that the recognition of the incumbent Olofa of Offa by the state government “is illogical, wrongful, unlawful, null and void and of no effect whatsoever”.