Igbogbo Customary Court Gets Adeboruwa, Chiefs’ Support

Kunle Adelabu

-Appeal to residents to make use of court

The President and Members of the Customary Court in Igbogbo, Igbogbo/Bayeku Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Ikorodu Division area of Lagos State, Southwest, Nigeria, on Tuesday, continued with their consultations and creation of awareness on the existence of the court by paying a royal visit to the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, His Royal Majesty, Oba (Barr.) Semiudeen Orimadegun Kasali, in palace in lgbogbo.

Barr. Margret Titilayo Solarin, the Court President, who was a former Tutor – General/Permanent Secretary in Lagos State, led other members of the court – Mr Murisiku Olowofela Odugbesi, Mrs Olatubosun Abosede Fakolade, Mrs Wasilat Aina Ogundipe and Princess Adetope Adebola Kosoko, a former Registrar, Lagos State Polytechnic (now Lagos State University of Science & Technology) and Mrs Oluwabukola Suuru, the Court Registrar, on the visit to the Adeboruwa and his chiefs.

The Customary Court officials, who visited the Chairman, Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA, Builer Sesan Daini, last Thursday, emphasized the importance of the court to peaceful resolutions of matters within the community and pleaded for intervention of the palace in sensitizing and educating the populace on the existence of the court in Igbogbo.

Oba Kasali, in his royal remarks, went down the memory lane to established the existence of Customary Courts in Ikorodu Division since the 1950s under the traditional authorities, while adding that government has been eroding the powers of the royal fathers which is why they are requesting for constitutional recognition.

The royal father pledged the support of the palace to the court.

“In Ikorodu Division in those days, when the Oba Alagbe as the Ayangbure of Ikorodu, was sitting as the President of the Customary Court, the Adeboruwa used to also preside over the court in Igbogbo. But government has been eroding the power of the traditional rulers which were taken away in 1979, and has since then being facing its consequences.

“We are now clamouring for constitutional power for the traditional rulers, even though they have not granted that. Government is claiming some of our achievements as traditional rulers, which further underscore our importance.

“Now that you are here, we will assist you with cases that are meant for your court, because it has the force of law and your decisions can be enforced. The palace, as a place of custom, moral and values, will continue to operate within our jurisdiction and assist you in whatever ways that we can.

“Your court has force of law and that would go a long way in ensuring peaceful resolutions of matters.

“Already, we have matters in the palace which we are going to refer to you after listen to them during our sitting today”, Oba Kasali assured.

Adeboruwa pledged the support of the palace to the court, stating that a fact – finding team will be setup to look at the condition of the Customary Court and the road leading to the place for proper intervention.

“We are going to setup a team to visit your office which most chiefs do not even know where it is. After the visit, we will intervene and make recommendations to the necessary quarters regarding the road that you said is not accessible and make your court comfortable for you to operate”, the royal father said.

Oba Kasali thanked the team for the visit and appreciated the caliber of people sent to Igbogbo to administer the Customary Court. He specially commended the President and Princess Kosoko for their services to the state over the years.

High Chief Tajudeen Alade Onasanya, the Odofin of Igbogbo, speaking, frowned at what he termed government’s attempt to completely erode the functions of the traditional institutions, while calling for the reversal of the trends.

While stating that the low patronage as complained by the court officials, is caused by lack of information, Odofin assured that the situation will turn for the better, pledging that palace chiefs and Baales will ensure that residents in various communities are educated on th existence of the court.

The Baale that spoke on behalf of others, said that the knowledge about the existence of the court in Igbogbo, will stop their people from going to Ikorodu and other places for adjudication over matters being handled by the court.

He also assured that residents in towns around lgbogbo community, will be properly educated and refer to the court.

The Court President, Barr. Solarin, speaking earlier, said that the team was happy to make the visitation after several attempts, adding that it is tradition as Yoruba people, and customary for them to pay homage to the traditional rulers and get their blessings.

She requested the palace to assist the court in educating and sensitizing the public about the existence of the court to reduce pressure on the palace.

“The Customary Court has been in existence for about five years. It was created around 2018/2019, but it seems that people are not aware of its existence at all. Although, I am happy with other members posted to work with me. Every member of the court is a retiree from Lagos State Public/Civil Service”, she said.

“Among us is a retired Permanent Secretary, retired Registrar, Lagos State Polytechnic, retired Matron with the General Hospital Ikorodu, retired Head of School and retired Director with Education District. I want to assure that we were posted here because of experiences in various backgrounds.

“We are happy to be here but sadly, I have observed very low patronage since my resumption. Residents don’t come to the court at all. I have been going through our record which we usually send on monthly basis, it is unfortunate to let you know that we usually record nil.

“We are not praying for problems in homes but at the same time, we know that there are challenges in various families that need proper and timely interventions. Ours is to counsel and ensure that families stay together in unity and love.

Barr. Solarun, who emphasized the need for the traditional institution’s assistance, said that the Adeboruwa, being a lawyer, would understand the importance of their duty.

“We think that it is because of lack of enlightenment and sensitization which are not good enough. Patronage in Customary Courts in other jurisdictions are high but our people in Igbogbo, are not aware of the court’s existence. I think that the location is a major factor because of the accessibility. We want the intervention of Kabiyesi and chiefs, to assist us with this enlightenment and sensitization for the residents about the existence of the Customary Court in Igbogbo”, she said.

“Interestingly, our Kabiyesi is a lawyer and we know that he will be interested in our matter, because the court will reduce pressure on the palace since we can handle some of the cases that are being brought to them. Kabiyesi and chiefs can always refer such cases to us”, the Court President added.

Former Registrar, LASPOTECH, Princess Adetope Kosoko, speaking on the functions of the court, said that the court has the force of law to manage marriage, family and work related matters among others.

Kosoko, who said that the court has other special units for further adjudication, emphasized that they also mediate in solving cases brought to them.

“Customary Court is the creation of the Lagos State. It is created for the grassroots and the court is not only created for marriage dissolution, but also has the power to resolve differences. We also have the power to intervene in family, employee/employer’s matters among other cases. We usually offered them advices and alternatives to what the parties are presenting”, she said.

“Our duty is to mediate among the people, to bring them to know that they don’t have to fight at all time, and that when they have differences, it can be settled without degenerating. So, mediation is key to operations.

“We have handled cases here where we have resolved cases that parties that brought them thought it cannot be resolved. We also have Special Courts that we do refer those that did Muslim wedding after talking to them and there is still need for further intervention. We also have Special Family Court where we refer husband and wife that are having issues on who to take custody of children after their dissolution.

“We have jurisdiction to mediate, talk to couples, parents who have issues, people who have issues with their workers, parents and children among other cases. We are completely backed up by the judicial service commission and we operate under the local government”, she said.

Like the Court President, Princess Kosoko also pleaded with the palace to assist them with awareness among residents.

“We need lots of awareness, sensitization and education for the public to know that we are in full operation in Igbogbo”, she said.

“We have had interesting cases since I have been here and those that we handled their matters have also been referring others to us, but we want more publicity for the place and we know that the palace is important in achieving that”.

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