11 Years After, Court Pronounces Prince Kazeem Amusa As Duly Elected Candidate For Alajede Throne

Kunle Adelabu

-It was a long, tough battle, but Ijede shall rise again – Prince Amusa said after judgment

Prince Kazeem Amusa with his lawyers after Justice Akapo’s judgment on Tuesday

11 years after going in and out of the court rooms, Honourable Lawal Akapo of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, has finally delivered his judgment on the Alajede matter in the Suit No. IKD/82/2013.

The late Alajede of Ijede, His Royal Majesty, Oba Fatai Adeboye Oresanya, Ladega II, joined his ancestors on August 13, 2012. The race to fill the vacant stool after his demise, begun on March 28, 2013.

The matter, challenging the decision of the Alajede – in – Council which nominated Hon. Saheed Hassan as the Alajede – elect, was instituted by Prince Kazeem Amusa and Prince Babatunde Sulaimon Amusa as plaintiff/claimants, against Hon. Saheed Hassan, Chairman, Ijede LCDA, Chief Alliu Musediku, Commissioner for Chieftaincy Affairs and Governor of Lagos State. Chief Adebayo Aba Ajanaku and Tunji Pero were joined as Defendants on the order of the court on January, 2016.

In his judgment delivered on Tuesday, the judge, after examining submissions by parties since the beginning of the matter in 2013, raised some issues for determination.

“I have synthesized, synchronized and harmonized the various issues submitted by parties, arriving from that, the issue in context: one, Who, between the 1st Claimant, Prince Kazeem Amusa and the 1st Defendant, Hon. Saheed Hassan, is validly and legally nominated and elected as Oloja or Alajede of Ijede in Ijede LCDA?.

“Also, two, ls the Defendant is eligible to contest for the stool of Alajede of Ijede or Oloja of Ijede? These among others issues were raised.

Prince Kazeem Amusa in group photograph with his legal team and family members at the court on Tuesday

After relying heavily on the Registered Trustee of 1975, which the court said embodied the customary laws and tradition, and cited several relevant decided cases, Justice Akapo declared his judgment on the 11-year-old case by making five declarations:

“The Court, hereby, declared that the 1st Claimant, Prince Kazeem Adebayo Amusa, having comply with the provisions of the Registered Declaration regulating succession to Oloja Chieftaincy Stool, also known as Alajede of Ijede, is duly and validly nominated and selected Candidate to fill the vacant stool of Oloja of Ijede, also known as Alajede of Ijede, in Ijede LCDA in Lagos State”, Justice Akapo declared.

Consequent upon the declaration above, the Court also directed 2nd to 5th Defendants to put necessary things in place for the acceleration of the nomination of the 1st Defendant as the Oloja of Alajede in Ijede LCDA, in compliance with the relevant provision of the Lagos State Obas and Chiefs Laws.

“The selection and nomination of the 1st Defendant, Hon. Saheed Hassan is, hereby, declared invalid, irregular, null and void….”, the court also declared.

“Finally, the counter claims of 1st to 3rd and 6th and 7th Defendants are accordingly dismissed”, Justice Akapo finally declared.

Recalled that in the written address, Defendants had prayed that the Court should recognise 1st Defendant, Hon. Hassan, as fit and proper to occupy the stool as the Oloja or Alajede;

Some members of the Idowu Ajanaku Royal Family rejoicing after the court pronouncement on the Alajede matter.

And, that the 1st Claimant, Prince Amusa, having abandoned his expression of interest in the vacant Oloja stool of Ijede by his refusal to attend and participate in the selection/screening process that led to the emergence of 1st Defendant as the Oba – elect, is perpetually estopped from challenging the said process and also, an order of the court mandating necessary parties to approve the selection of Hon. Hassan and install him as the Oloja of Ijede.

In his own submission, the Claimant, Prince Amusa, who claimed that he is the only one from the male lineage of the Idowu Ajanaku Royal House of Ijede, asked the Court to declare the nomination and selection of Hon. Hassan as not done in accordance with the necessary laws and declared same as null and void; also that necessary authorities should not grant him approval to be so recognized and installed as the Oloja of Ijede and that he, Prince Amusa, is validly nominated candidate that is fit and proper for the stool and that his name should be forwarded by the Kingmakers and the Ijede LCDA to the Lagos State Government, for installation.

Prince Amusa also sought Order of the Court restraining Hon. Hassan from parading himself or caused himself to be paraded as Oloja of Ijede.

The Court did not award any cost as damage, but charged that parties to the matter should not see the judgment as a matter of the victor and vanquished, rather, the judge asked them to go back home and resolve the matter as a family matter.

Speaking with THE IMPACT after the judgment, Prince Kazeem Amusa, who was in the midst of the jubilating family members and friend who were referring to him as ‘Kabiyesi’, gave thanks to God for the vindication after the long and tough journey.

He declared that Ijede shall rise again after his emergence and ascension on the throne of his ancestors.

“I must say a very big thank you to the Almighty Allah. It has been a very rough and tough journey but at the end of the day, we have been vindicated”, the Alajede – elect on the order of the court, said.

“It is a judgment for the people of Ijede. It is a judgement for the entire people of lkorodu. Our town has been in darkness for many years. Today, we give thanks to the Almighty Allah again.

“I give thanks to my dad, the entire family of Idowu Ajanaku, for their support and I want to say that Ijede shall rise again. By His grace, Ijede shall rise again, By His special grace, our ancestors have risen and Ijede shall be a better place again than it was then”, he assured.

When asked what next, especially on the directive of the court that the parties, being members of the same family, should go back home to resolve their differences internally, he said:

“The family has been united from time. What we came to the court for is to settle the dispute over the throne and at the end of the day, the court has vindicated and the rightful person has been nominated by the court”, he said.

“The next thing is to plan towards making Ijede better. So, all hands must be on the deck, and ln Sha Allah, Ijede shall rise again”.

The former Chairman, Ijede LCDA, Hon. Saheed Hassan, who lost his nomination as the Alajede – elect, did not make any statement and when contacted, the Olisa of Ijede, High Chief Alliu Musediq and Odofin of Ijede, High Chief Babatunde Ogunmuyiwa, told our reporter that they did not have anything to say to the judgment, when approached within the court premises.

Also at the court were Aro of Ijede, High Chief Rasaq Oyebanjo, Otunba and Alapinni of Ijede, Chief Adedayo Aba Ajanaku, community leaders, family chieftains and members.

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