Vacant Oloto Stool: Court Directs Parties To Address It On Procedural Defects





Three months after a Lagos High Court ordered parties to maintain status-quo in the appointment of Oloto of Oto, the court has directed that parties should address it on effect of 1st and 2nd defendants filing statement of defence consequently to their notice of preliminary objection challenging jurisdiction of the court on procedural defect of processes filed by the claimants.


 The claimants: Chief Mohammed Akinola, Prince Wahab Oke, Babatunde Shittu, Dr. Akinlade Taofik and Lamariyu Oloto had in suit No: LD/2997GCMW/2016 sought the court for an order declaring that the Olori-Iddo branch of the Baalo Ruling House of Oloto Royal family of Oto and Mainland is the branch/Ruling House to present a candidate for the vacant stool of Oloto of Oto and Mainland.

Specifically, the claimants asked the court to declare that the 3rd  Claimant herein being the candidate from the Olori-Iddo branch of the Baalo Ruling House of the Oloto Royal family of Oto is the person entitled to be nominated to occupy the vacant stool Oloto of Oto and Mainland.
 
Sued are: Murisiku Fasinro, Alhaji H. Fasinro, Oba Abdulfatai Aromire, the sole administrator, Lagos Mainland Local Government, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Lagos, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos state and the Governor of Lagos State.
Besides, the claimants sought the Court for an order directing the 3rd to  7th Defendants to approve the appointment of the 3rd Claimant, Mr.
 Babatunde Adedapo Shittu as the person to occupy the vacant stool of Oloto of Oto and Mainland having been duly appointed and nominated
 by the Olori-Iddo branch of the Baalo Ruling House of the Oloto
Royal family of Oto and Mainland.
 
They asked the court for an order directing the 3rd to 7th defendants to
 gazette the approval of the 3rd Claimant as the Oba elect for the position of Oloto of Oto into the Lagos State Official Gazette as well as facilitating the official installation and giving the staff of office to the 3rd Claimant as the Oba elect for the position of the Oloto of Oto and
 Mainland.
 The claimants asked the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants herein, their agents, privies, servants,  representatives, and anybody whosoever acting on their behalf from electing, selecting, appointing, nominating, approving and/or installing the 1st Defendant or any other person whatsoever except the 3rd Claimant as the Oba elect or the Oloto of Oto and Mainland.
 
They also sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1st defendant from parading himself or holding himself out to the general  public as the Oba elect or Oloto of Oto and Mainland.
An order of court setting aside or nullifying any process already put in
 place by the Defendants towards electing, selecting, appointing,  nominating, approving and/or installing the 1st Defendant or any other person except the 3rd Claimant as the Oba elect or Oloto of Oto and  Mainland.
At the resumed hearing of the matter, the claimants lawyers,Chief Bolaji  Ayorinde SAN, leading Adenrele Adegborioye and Ariba Ajibola, told the court the matter was fixed for the hearing of the 1st and 2nd notice of
preliminary objection but that the claimants also have an application dated January 20.
 "It seeks to regularise our counter affidavit and written address,” Ayorinde said.
 
The court however asked the lawyer representing 2nd and 3rd  defendants, Mr. A. Oyewole, if he think his clients' application is necessary.
 Mr. Oyewole said the notice of preliminary objection is dated November 28, 2016 and it seeks to dismiss or strike out the suit of the claimant.
According to him, "the application is predicated on seven grounds and  supported by a 15 paragraph affidavit. We have annexed therein the CTC of form 01 of the claimants.
The written address is dated November 20, 2016. I seek to ammend paragraph 1-6. I seek to delete the word motion.
"We have raised two issues; the letter dated November 2, 2016 is not in
 substantial compliance of Order 3 Rule 2(1)(e) of the rules.
 Our contention is that same has been filed but does not comply with precedents.

The said pre action notice, the said learned counsel did not comply with the Evidence Act.
"We submit that the defect goes down to the substantial suit. The letter was not addressed to the 1st and 2nd defendants. It was specifically  addressed to the 3rd defendant. The precedent states that there must be
 more than one attempt, what they have is an attempt."
 But the court raised an issue suo moto on whether the 1st and 2nd
 defendants can object when they have filed a defence.
 "When you are challenging procedural litigation, you do not need to file a defence. You file an objection, said the Judge.
Meanwhile the court has adjourned the matter to May 30th for continuation of argument.

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