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Oyedeji v. Ayo

SUNMONI OYEDEJI 

V

CHIEF SHITTU AYO

COURT OF APPEAL

( ILORIN DIVISION )

M. AREMU OKUNOLA, JCA ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

PATRICK IBE AMAIZU, JCA

WALTER SAMUEL NKANU ONNOGHEN, JCA

CA/IL/23/2000

THURSDAY, 12TH JULY, 2001

COURT - Judicial power - In whom vests - Section 6(1), 1979 Constitution

COURT - Judicial power vested in courts and Tribunals  - Scope of - Whether extends to traditional rulers - Sections 6 (6) (b) and 236 1979 Constitution

Issues:

1.            Whether the trial court has any power to order the parties to go to the Olofa for the determination of their case and whether the Olofa has power to assume jurisdiction over the matter.

2.            Whether the evidence before the court justifies the dismissal of plaintiff’s case.

3.            Whether the trial court has not contradicted itself  in the final pronouncement that the parties should abide by the decision of the Olofa of Offa.

Facts:

The appellant as plaintiff at the lower court sued the respondent as defendant claiming for himself and his entire family of Arole ruling house title to the land known and called Lamodi at Offa.

At the trial, the parties testified and also called witnesses. It was the contention of the appellant that he inherited the disputed land through Oba Olusan, the late Olofa of Offa, while the respondent claimed to own the disputed land through a gift from oba Onilenla (the then Olofa).

At the end of the trial the learned trial Judge in a considered judgment ordered the parties to go back to the Olofa to seek further clarification from the Olofa as to the ownership of the piece of the Lamodi land. The learned trial Judge further stated that the decision of the Olofa shall be binding on the parties. And the Judge concluded by dismissing the claim of the appellant.

Dissatisfied with the said judgment, the appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.