Court: Oluwo’s removal, banning of Khalifa Adio is unconstitutional

An Ikirun High Court in Osun state has declared as unconstitutional, null and void the removal of Sheikh Imran Adio as Otun Ajanasi of Iwoland by the Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi.

Presiding Justice A.L. Adegoke on October 11th ruled in favour Khalifa Imran Adio in a suit challenging his removal as Otun Ajanasi and Oluwo’s order banning the Sheikh from praying at the Central Mosque and the Eid praying ground.

The court held that the Oluwo of Iwoland, registered trustees of Iwo Central Mosque or their agents have no power whatsoever under the constitution or any law in Nigeria to prevent, restrict or deny Sheikh Adio his fundamental rights to practice his faith and religion anywhere in Nigeria as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.

The court further ruled and declared that neither Oluwo nor any registered trustees of the Iwo Central Mosque has any right or power to deny Sheikh Adio his right to worship at the Central Mosque or the town’s Eid praying ground or to hold the title of Otun Ajanasi.

The judge then affirmed that the oral decree of Oluwo removing Sheikh Adio as Otun Ajanasi was invalid, unlawful and wrongful as it violated the applicant’s human and constitutional rights as enshrined in Sections 34, 35, 36 and 38 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

An order of perpetual injunction was issued on the Oluwo, his aides, agents and trustees of the Iwo Central Mosque from preventing , rejecting , stopping or harrashing Sheikh Adio in the exercise of his rights to worship at the Mosque and the eid praying as well as exercising his responsibilities as Osun Ajanasi.

All the reliefs sought by the applicant were granted . The defendant was absent at the court.

The applicant, Khalifa Adio described the judgement as “a vindication of his rights and confirmation that his removal as Otun Ajanasi and the banning from the praying ground were against all known rules of natural and societal justice”, noting that ” this is the first step in our fight for justice.

”I expressed my appreciation to the Judge and the entire judiciary. The unjustly treated have earthly and heavenly courts of justice to take their matters to. We will not surrender our rights no matter the level of intimidation and harassment”, Khalifa Adio who is also a leader of Quadriyat movement in Yorubaland noted.

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