Court To Hear Suit On Ogun Monarch's Body Taken Away By Osugbo Society - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Court To Hear Suit On Ogun Monarch's Body Taken Away By Osugbo Society



From Ayobami Ife, Abeokuta

A suit challenging the alleged hijacking of the corpse of late Alaye-Aba of Aba, Aiyepe, in Ijebu area of Ogun State, Oba Rauf Adebayo Raji-Suleimon, by the Osugbo Society of Ijebuland was mentioned at the Federal High Court siting in Abeokuta, the State capital, on Tuesday.

However, the presiding judge, Justice Muhammad Shittu Abubakar, adjourned the matter till April 26 for hearing.

The adjournment was predicated on the need to create  a window of opportunity for the claimants' counsel to serve the originating court process in respect of the case to the remaining respondents.

Three daughters (claimants) of late Oba Rauf Adebayo Raji-Suleimon - 
Mrs Aderonke Egunjimi, Mrs Tiwalade Abass and Mrs Adeyemi Joseph, filed the suit against the Osugbo Society through their lawyer, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN.

The children being the claimants, stated that Raji-Sulaimon was a devote and practicing Muslim in his lifetime and  performed pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina.

They claimed that on January 24, 2021, the family had prepared a burial site to bury their father according to the dictates of the Islamic faith but members and representatives of the Osugbo society, allegedly, took their father’s remains away.

In their application, they accused members of the society of infringing on their rights to privacy and family life and depriving their father of a befitting burial.

The applicants are seeking an order of mandatory injunction compelling the society to return the body forthwith to their custody at the applicants’ Family House being at No 1, Alaye Aba Street, Aba Quarters, Aiyepe, Ogun State.

They also  urged the court to declare the conduct and practice of the 1st to 15th unconstitutional, illegal, vexatious, barbaric, obnoxious, immoral and repugnant to the dictates of civil order as enshrined in the constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights 2004.

The applicants are further asking the court for an order restraining Ijebu Traditional Council from giving any directions or orders to the 1st to 15th respondents contrary to the reliefs sought by the applicants.

The defendants in the suit are; Chief Adeleke Adetola Dako (1st defendant), Chief Mojid Ogunmefun (2nd defendant), Lekan Adekoko (3rd defendant), Chief Ebenezer Ogunlala (4th defendant), Chief Fagbola Adeniyi (5th defendant), Kazeem Adeleke (6th defendant), Taorid Jimoh (7th defendant) and Abiodun Adeleke (8th defendant).

Others are Monsuru Eleku (9th defendant), Chief Safiriyu Adeleye (10th defendant), Jamiu Salawu (11th defendant), Chief Sodiq Osiyemi (12th defendant, Chief Eji Ademeji (13th defendant), Chief Adebisi Opanuga (14th defendant, and Chief Ayo Olubukola (15th defendant), (sued jointly and severally as members and representatives of the unincorporated Osugbo Society of Ijebuland specifically in Odogbolu Local Government,  Ijebu Ode Local Government,  Ijebu East Local Government, Ijebu North Local Government, Ijebu North East Local Government,  and Ogun Waterside Local Government) and Ijebu Traditional Council (16th Respondent).

When matter was mentioned  before Justice Muhammad Shittu Abubakar, counsel to the applicant, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) announced presence as lead counsel for the claimants while Prince Sola Opeodu announced his appearance for the respondents.

The applicant's counsel, Chief Ayorinde told the court that he had served the court summons on six (06) out of the 16 respondents following verifiable addresses provided.

Claimants' counsel applied for leave of Court to serve remaining 10 others  by "substituted service" through their counsel and prayed to deem it as the "respondents duly served."

Ayorinde said the prayer sought became necessary so that the respondents would have no cause in future to plead, or feign, ignorance of being dully served.

However,  the defense counsel, Prince Sola Opeodu,  did not oppose the application for substituted service and the court granted the prayer afterwards.

Following the consent of counsel for both parties, Justice Muhammad Shittu Abubakar, adjourned the suit till  April 26, 2021, for "hearing."

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