Magistrate Olusola Aluko, who ordered the arrest of a prominent traditional ruler in Osun State, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Akanbi, has withdrawn from the case.
He says his decision became necessary after police failed to arrest the monarch since last year that he issued the bench warrant of arrest against Oba Akanbi.
At the court sitting in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State, on Friday, Magistrate Aluko announced his decision to ‘hands off’ the case because of the dimension it had taken.
Counsel to the plaintiff, Mr Soji Oyetayo, told the court that he had filed a notice seeking the leave of the court to withdraw the suit because his client had decided to discontinue the case owing to intervention of some eminent Nigerians in Osun State and some Yoruba leaders.
The Magistrate explained that he was not willing to listen to the counsels to the parties in the matter since he had already stepped down the substantive matter.
But counsel to the respondent, Mr Laide Yekini, pleaded with the Magistrate to listen to him and consider the notice of discontinuance of the matter brought before the court by his colleague.
The Magistrate insisted that he would not entertain the withdrawal of the case and the counsel to the respondent said he wanted the court to record it appropriately that a notice of withdrawal of the case was brought to the court and the judge refused to entertain it.
As a result of this, the Magistrate agreed to attend to the application seeking the withdrawal of the suit and the counsel to the plaintiff moved the application.
In his ruling, Magistrate Aluko said for the sake of consistency, he would not make any pronouncement on the withdrawal of the suit and that he would withdraw from the cease and refer the case back to the Chief Magistrate for further action. He adjourned the matter till February 15.
After the court session, the Olowu of Kuta, Oba Ahmed Adekunle Oyelude, who spoke for other traditional rulers said: “On behalf of members of Iwo Traditional Council, we have amicably resolved the needless rift between the two brothers, Oluwo-Oke and the Oluwo.
“It has been resolved in the Yoruba way and that is why you can see the Oluwo Oke withdrawing the case and you can see we have demonstrated the traditional institutions respect for the judiciary and we will continue to hold the judiciary in high esteem. Oluwo of Iwo will continue to respect the judiciary.
“Oluwo of Iwo could not make it to the court today because he is indisposed. We are all human beings. God has enforced His order and by the Grace of God, the Oluwo will be on his feet before the next adjournment and he will come and do the needful.
This is needless war. We want all of you to know that everything that emanated as a result of this needless issue is regretted. Oluwo holds all of you and Iwoland and Nigeria especially, in high esteem. He will continue to respect the sanctity of the judiciary. He is a foremost traditional ruler and an Apostle of alternate conflict resolution, he has used his money to rehabilitate the court and he will not do anything to undermine the judiciary.
In a chat with reporters after the court’s sitting, the plaintiff, Oba Akadiri Lamidi Adeoye, said he withdrew the case because of the intervention of the former President, Mr Olusegun Obasanjo and the state governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola who persuaded him to embrace amicable resolution.
“Our former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, called me and our Governor also intervened and asked me to withdraw the case from the court. That is why I decided to do so. I respect this people so much, they are men of integrity and that is why I obeyed them.
“Some of those who intervened are older than me and I cannot say because I am a king, I will not respect them. They are people who should be respected and that was why I followed their advice,”he said.
The Oba further told reporters that he was not coerced or forced to drop the case “as many may want to insinuate”.
“Even the Traditional Council in Osun State intervened. So, what else do I want than to accept. If the case is taken to the supreme Court today, we will win the case but because of those who have appealed to us to drop the case, we just have to obey,” the oluwo-oke explained.
The Oluwo-Oke had dragged his brother king, the Oluwo of Iwoland to court over superiority issue between the duo which eventually pitched their subjects against themselves and almost turned violent in Iwoland and its suburbs.
He accused Oba Akanbi of presently making money through the internet fraud otherwise known as “Yahoo Yahoo” and was using his palace as a cover-up.
But Oba Akanbi reacted to these allegations in a 13 paragraph affidavits through the Aremo of Iwo land, Mr Adelani Akanbi, describing the application filed against the Oluwo of Iwo by Oba Adeoye as “scandalous, vexations and designed to embarrass, blackmail and ridicule the monarch in the view of right thinking members of the society”.