korodu Kingship Tussle: Ambode, Oba Shotebi, Others Face Contempt Proceedings

One of the contenders of the Ikorodu royal throne, Odupitan Adeniyi Eniola has commenced contempt proceedings against the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State for allegedly disobeying a court order stopping the coronation of Chief Kabiru Shotobi as the Ayangburen of Ikorodu. Justice Olabisi Ogungbesan of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja had last week halted the coronation ceremony to fill the vacant stool of Ayangburen, the traditional ruler of Ikorodu Kingdom. The ceremony to crown the new Ayangburen, which had been scheduled for Saturday, August 15, 2015, was however halted  by Justice Ogungbesan following an ex parte proceeding filed by Odupitan. In her ruling, Justice Ogungbesan had restrained Ambode or anyone acting under his authority from going ahead to crown the Odofin of Ikorodu, Chief Kabiru Shotebi,  as the new Ayangburen of Ikorodu Kingdom. The judge also restrained Shotebi from either “presenting himself for coronation” or “parading himself as the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, or actualising any recognition thereon as such, or exercising any of the Ayangburen royal functions”, pending the determination of a suit filed by  Odupitan Eniola, from the Lambo branch of the Lasunwon chieftaincy family of Ikorodu Kingdom. The coronation ceremony, however, reportedly held last Saturday as scheduled. Irked by the development, Odupitan through his lawyer has filed a notice of consequences of disobedience of order of court against Governor Ambode, Chief Shotebi. Others mentioned in the notice of disobedience of court orders dated August 19, include Chief Zacheus Oludele Odusoga, Afolabi Adekanyaoja, Karimu Ore, Kolawole Adaraloye, Ikorodu Local Government Area and Secretary, Ikorodu Chieftaincy Committee. Also mentioned were the Permanent Secretary & Solicitor-General, Lagos Ministry of Justice and the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, Lagos. Governor Ambode has, however, urged the court  to reverse the order it made last week. Ambode, who was represented in court by a state counsel, Mr. S.A. Quadri, urged the judge to vacate the order, saying it was made in error. Quadri, who described the ex parte application that led to the order as an abuse of court processes, pointed out that the order was made after Shotebi had already been given the staff of office. According to Quadri, former Governor Babatunde Fashola had, on May 26, 2015, installed Shotebi as the new Ayangburen after Shotebi was presented to him at the 17th meeting of the State Executive Council held on May 25, 2015. Quadri added that contrary to the facts presented before the court,  the event which took place on Saturday was not the coronation per se but a mere social gathering to celebrate Shotebi’s installment as a monarch. “The ceremony which took place on the 15th day of August 2015 is a mere fun fare organised by the Ikorodu community and the 1st defendant (Shotebi) to celebrate his ascension to the throne of his fore fathers and to accord notable distinguished personalities with chieftaincy titles. “The 1st defendant was surprised when it became news that a ruling was delivered on the 14th day of August 2015 pursuant to an ex parte application restraining the 1st defendant and other defendants from proceeding with the coronation fixed for the 15th day of August. “The ex parte ought not to have been granted if the afore said facts were revealed to the honorable court. “The order was obtained by misrepresentation of facts and should be set aside,” one Usman Danboyi, a Chief State Counsel, said in the affidavit filed in support of Ambode’s application. The lawyer for the Ikorodu kingmakers, Mr. Olusegun Fabunmi,  also raised a preliminary objection, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the case. Their lawyer, Fabunmi, who described the suit as an abuse of court processes, claimed that the subject matter had already been determined by Justice M.A. Savage of the Ikorodu Division of the court on February 5, 2015. Fabunmi urged the court to vacate the order restraining Shotebi from exercising authority in the capacity of Ayangburen, Fabunmi. The judge has adjourned the matter till October 6, 2015 for mention.  
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