June 15, 2024

Tension in Ode-Remo community as deposed monarch defies court ruling

Trouble is brewing in Iraye Community in Ode-Remo, a town in Remo North Local Government Area of Ogun State over a judgement of the Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, which halted the reign of the traditional ruler of the community, the Nloku of Iraye-Ode Remo, Oba Olatunji Kalejaiye. Elders and members of the Sugbada royal family of Iraye-Ode Remo, are alleging that the continued stay of Kalejaiye in the palace, in defiance to the court ruling, is a provocative action.

Traditional title holders in the community, joined by members of the royal family, addressed reporters on Friday in the ancient town and urged the state government and security agents to prevail on Kalejaiye and his backers to respect the sanctity of the judiciary and avoid a breakdown of law and order in the community. They also appealed to Oba Adewale Ajayi, the Akarigbo of Remoland, to hearken to the desire of the people of Iraye and withdraw his support for Kalejaiye who has been deposed by the court.

Ruling on the case (Appeal No: CA/1B/255/2015 Suit No: HCS/65/2019, an appeal filed by Kalejaiye against his deposition in 2015 by a State High Court sitting in Sagamu, Ogun East Senatorial District, the Justices of the Appeal Court, led by Hon. Justice Moore A. A. Adumein, ruled that “the appeal lacked merit and is hereby dismissed. The Judgment of Hon. Justice Olugbenga Ogunfowora is hereby affirmed.

Justice Ogunfowora had in 2015, in the judgment in the legal action challenging the enthronement of Kalejaiye, declared his ascendancy to the throne as illegal, ultra vires, null and void and asked him to vacate the stool immediately. The judge also ordered the Ogun State Government, the Attorney-General, Remo North Local Government and chiefs of the town, to stop recognizsing Kalejaiye as the Nloku of Iraye-Ode Remo town in Remo North Local Government Area of the state.

Directing the kingmakers to immediately convene a meeting to consider nominees for the throne from the Sugbada ruling house, which is the rightful of the ruling households in the town, to produce the next king, the Judge averred that there is no mention of any Sugbodo ruling house in the gazette that empowers the selection of the Nloku of Iraye-Ode Remo.

Although his nomination and selection by the kingmakers were challenged by the Sugbada ruing house, which argued that he was not a member of the ruling arm, the state government went ahead to inaugurate Kalejaiye in 2009, prompting the legal action.

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