Appeal Court Orders Fresh Trial Against Ekiti Monarch
The Court of Appeal, Ado Ekiti Division has ordered fresh trial of a suit filed by the Edemo of Ado Ekiti, Chief Bamidele Aduloju, to restrain the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe from suspending or deposing him.
Justice Boloukuromo Moses Ugo, who delivered the lead judgment set aside the verdict of an Ado Ekiti High Court, which dismissed the suit, saying the lower court was wrong in its decisions on Aduloju’s statement of claim and statement of oath and consequent dismissal of the suit.
The Appeal Court panel, which also had Justices Adzira Msheila and Ayobode Lokulo-Sodipe, in the unanimous judgment, said: “The said suit is hereby restored to the Cause List of the Ekiti State High Court for trial on its merit by any other judge beside O.I.O Ogunyemi that the Chief Judge may deem fit to assign it”.
Justice Ogunyemi of an Ado Ekiti High Court had last year dismissed the suit, no HAD/226/2011, saying Aduloju’s statement of claim did not disclose a reasonable cause of action and that his witness statement on oath accompanying his originating processes was fundamentally defective.
But Aduloju, through his lawyer, Olalekan Olatawura, filed the appeal to challenge the dismissal by the lower court of the suit, praying the Appeal Court to determine whether Aduloju’s statement of claim truly did not disclose a reasonable cause of action. Olatawura also urged the Appeal Court to determine whether the lower court was correct when it held that Aduloju’s only witness statement on oath was defective and liable to be struck out.
Counsel to Oba Adejugbe, Afolabi Fashanu (SAN), urged the Appeal Court to resolve the issues against Aduloju, saying that the lower court was right when it struck out his (Aduloju’s) statement of claim and dismissed the suit.