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Mosojo vs. Oyetayo

GANIYU LAWAL MOSOJO

( For himself and on behalf of all other members of Obasinkin Logun Kando family of Ila Orangun)

V

THOMAS ADESOLA OYETAYO

OBA WILLIAMS A. AYENI

CHIEF J. O. OTITOOLA

CHIEF E. OLADOSU

CHIEF J. BABALOLA

CHIEF A. OYEWUMI

CHIEF A. ATOYEBI

CHIEF O. A. OYEWOLE

COMMISSIONER FOR CHIEFTAINCY AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS, OSUN STATE

THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND COMMISSIONER FOR JUSTICE, OSUN STATE

SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA

IDRIS LEGBO KUTIGI, JSC ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

ALOYSIUS IYORGYER KATSINA-ALU, JSC

EMMANUEL OLAYINKA AYOOLA, JSC

NIKI TOBI, JSC

DAHIRU MUSDAPHER, JSC

SC. 76/1999

FRIDAY, 23RD MAY, 2003 

ACTION - Cause of action - When arises in a case

CHIEFTAINCY MATTERS - Recognised Chieftaincies (Revocation and Miscellaneous Provisions) Order, 1976 - Chieftaincy declared to be a minor chieftaincy therein - Whether excluded from the provisions of the Chiefs Law of Western Region, 1959

STATUTE - Chiefs Law of Western Region 1959 - Declaration contained therein as to selection of a person to a chieftaincy - Effect of the Recognised Chieftaincies (Revocation and Miscellaneous Provisions) Order, 1976 thereon

WORDS AND PHRASES - ‘Cause of action’ - Definition thereof

Issues:

1.            Whether the cause of action in this case arose in 1960 when the Chieftaincy Declaration (Exhibit D) was made and the 1 st defendant’s family made a second ruling house or in  1983 when the 1st defendant was installed as the Obasinkin to the detriment of the plaintiff’s family.

2.            Whether as regards the Obasinkin Chieftaincy, the Chieftaincy Declaration of 1960 is still valid and subsisting having regard to the Recognised Chieftaincies (Revocation and

Miscellaneous Provisions) Order, 1976 (W.S.L.N. 6 of 1976).

3.            Did the court of first instance in this matter have jurisdiction to entertain this matter as it did?

Facts:

The plaintiff sued the defendants at the Osun State High Court of Justice, holden at Osogbo, claiming among others, a declaration that the appointment and installation of Mr. Thomas Adesola Oyetayo (1st defendant) - by the 2nd to 8th defendants - as the Obasinkin of Ila is contrary to the native law and custom of Ila Orangun and is therefore null and void: an order setting aside the chieftaincy declaration in Ila as affecting the Obasinkin Chieftaincy in Ila Orangun.

The core of the plaintiff’s case was that the Obasinkin Chieftaincy is exclusive to his family and that the appointment of the 1st defendant as the Obasinkin by the other defendants was contrary to the native law and custom of Ila-Orangun, because the 1st defendant is not related to the Logun Kando family. He traced the history of all the eleven Obasinkins who reigned, up to the last one who died in 1982, to his family. The defendants on the other hand contended that although the first defendant was not a member of the plaintiff’s family, the Chieftaincy Declaration of 1960, added the family of the 1st defendant as a second ruling house in respect of the chieftaincy. The plaintiff reacted to this by stating that the family was not aware of this and that in any case, the Obasinkin Chieftaincy had been relegated to a minor chieftaincy by virtue of The Recognised Chieftaincies (Revocation and Miscellaneous Provisions) Order 1976 (W.S.L.N. 6 of 1976) and as such  it was no longer subject to the provisions of Part 2 of the Chiefs Law of the former Western State and by so doing rendered the 1960 Chieftaincy Declaration inapplicable.


The trial court found for the plaintiff, and the defendants appealed to the Court of Appeal, Ibadan Division which in a unanimous decision allowed the appeal while setting aside the judgment of the trial court. Aggrieved by this decision of the appellate court, the plaintiff appealed to the Supreme Court.