A lawyer walks through the compound at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi district in Lagos, Nigeria, May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A Lokoja High Court has granted an order of interlocutory injunction restraining Chief Solomon Dele Owoniyi from parading himself as the newly-appointed Obaro of Kabba or taking any steps and/or doing anything relating to the position of the Obaro of Kabba pending the hearing and determination of the motion of notice filed by the claimant of the stool.

The court presided by Justice M M Gwatana also ordered the Kogi State Government and the state Chieftancy council who were joined in the suit from treating or taking any further action to recognize Owoniyi or any other person except from the Ilajo Royal family as a person that has the right to the chieftaincy of Obaro of Kabba pending the hearing and determination of the motion of notice .

The Ilajo Royal family had approached the court challenging the appointment of Chief Solomon Dele Owoniyi as the new Obaro of Kabba on the ground that he is not a member of the Royal family and therefore not fit to hold the position of the revered stool.

Among the prayers sought by the claimant is that the court should declare Ilajo Royal family as the custodian of the chieftaincy stool and the only family that can occupy the revered stool.

The three ruling houses, namely the Mokelu, Ajinuhi and Ajibohokun of the Ilajo Royal family had, shortly after the appointment of Owoniyi, vehemently rejected the state government’s choice of Owoniyi as ”politically motivated and an aberration of the traditional and cultural norms of Owe-Kabba people and a negation in the administrative set up of the ancient town.”

The Ilajo Royal family also described the appointment of Owoniyi as strangely coming from a suburban settlement of odolu which is outside Kabba township which originally has a Second-Class Chief as its ruler as ‘a glaring case of robbing Peter to pay Paul’.

The case was adjourned to September 4 for the hearing of motion on notice.

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