The Olayide Royal Family has urged the Lagos State Government to reverse the installation of Prince Elias Omoloro Ijelu as the Olota of Otta-Ikosi town in the Ikosi/Ejinrin Local Government Development Council Area (LCDA).
The family said the installation took place despite suit before Justice Ajibola Lawal-Akapo of the Lagos High Court. The suit, marked IKD/2/2014, was filed by Pa Rasaki Oseni (head of the family) and six others against the commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and nine others.
The Olayide Royal Family, in a statement by its Secretary, Alhaji Moshood Balogun, said the installation on July 1, 2021, could not stand because it was done despite pending suit.
The statement reads in part: “The main issue for determination amongst other issues is which ruling house should produce the candidate for the Olota of Otta-Ikosi Town. The trial had commenced in the suit already.
“More worrisome is the fact the court had on 30th March, 2015 ordered all parties to maintain status quo pending the determination of the suit.
“Despite that, the Lagos State Government, through the office of the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, still went ahead to install Prince Elias Omoloro Ijelu, the seventh defendant in the suit as the Olota of Otta-Ikosi.”
The family said its lawyer wrote to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on May 5, 2021, urging him not to approve the installation of Prince Ijelu or any other person as the Olota of Otta-Ikosi pending the determination of the suit.
The family informed the governor that the parties, including the attorney general and commissioner for justice had filed their statement of defence, while trial had also commenced.
The family expressed concerns that any installation despite the pending case would undermine the powers of the court, as the issue of the rightful person to be installed as the Olota of Otta-Ikosi is yet to be determined.
The Olayide Royal Family said the state’s action in installing Prince Ijelu “is very provocative and antithetical to the democratic principles it swore to uphold.
“We are hopeful the government will retrace its steps and undo this very disgraceful and contemptuous act which is capable of leading to breakdown of law and order in our community.”
When contacted, Prince Ijelu’s lawyer, Mr Lekan Ijelu, confirmed that there was indeed a pending suit in court on the matter, but said there was no injunction restraining the state from installing his client as the monarch.
He, however, agreed that when matter is in court, parties are not supposed to do anything to over reach the res.
Besides, he said the state must have also acted based on legal advice.