An Ondo State High Court sitting in Owo says Prince Rotimi Dairo-Elebese is fit and qualified to contest the vacant stool of the Olupele of Ipele in Owo Local Government Area of the State.
The Court presided over by Justice D.I. Kolawole made the pronouncement on Monday, August 3, 2020 while ruling on a case brought before it by Prince Rotimi Dairo-Elebese challenging his exclusion from the list of candidates vying for the vacant stool by Chief Segun Agaun who is the Head of the Ilana ruling House.
Alana ruling House is the next ruling house to produce the next Olupele, the stool being on rotational basis by the four quarters that can produce the Olupele (King).
Dairo-Elebese had gone to court to challenge his exclusion from the contest and the allegation that he is not from Alana ruling House based on the petition by one Olaseni Adeyanju to the Chieftaincy department of Owo Local Government.
In the suit by the Claimant, Chief Agaun who was the first defendant was joined by Ipele kingmakers, Owo Local Government, Ondo State Government as co-defendants.
In his case, the Claimant posited that he is from Ilana Quarters and so qualified to contest the stool.
He also posited that, the first defendant is not qualified to contest for the Olupele stool.
In his defence, the Alana of Ilana, Chief Segun Agaun stated that the claimant is not from Ilana quarters and therefore not qualified to contest for the Olupele stool.
After listening to the two sides, their evidences and submissions, the Judge held among other things that the claimant, Prince Dairo-Elebese is from the Akapo lineage of the Ilana Ruling house and therefore qualified to take part in the selection process for the new Olupele.
The Court held among others that the Chief Segun Agaun is also qualified to contest for the stool but can no longer act as the head of the Ilana ruling House since he is also contesting.
Similarly, the court declared that the next in rank to the Alana should automatically succeed him as the head of the ruling house in line with the Olupele Chieftaincy Declaration which approves the ladder succession process in the chieftaincy hierarchy.
Justice Kolawole further held that the Olupele Chieftaincy Declaration should be used in the selection of the new Olupele while the list of April 11, 2016 which contained all the names of the candidates in the contest should be used instead of that of November 2, 2016 which excluded the claimant.
The court also ruled that the first defendant cannot act as the Alana in overseeing the process of Olupele selection while also ordering that the next in rank to the Alana should take over as the head of the ruling house among others.
Dairo-Elebese while speaking on the sidelines of the Court session, appealed to his followers and the people of Ipele to allow peace to reign.
He declared that Ipele is one and all hands must be on deck to develop the town.
The court awarded a cost of 20,000 against the first defendant, Chief Segun Agaun in favour of Dairo-Elebese.
The court also awarded the sum of 250,000 against Olaseni Adeyanju for defamation of the character of the Claimant, Cairo-Elebese.
Adeyanju had circulated printed copies of documents in Owo and Ipele environs purportedly to defame the Claimant’s character that he is not a true son of the Ilana family.
The Claimant had sought 100 million naira as damages.
Source: The Precision NG