The Court of Appeal in Ilorin, Kwara State, Tuesday dethroned the Oloffa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi Esuwoye, by setting aside last year’s judgment of the state high court which upheld his earlier appointment and installation by the state government.
There had been a legal tussle over his enthronement since two years ago by a rival Olugbense ruling house which also claimed right to the throne and candidature of any member of their family to the kingship of Offa.
Delivering the lead judgment in the appeal suit no CA/IL/71/2012, Justice Hussain Mukhtar restrained Esuwoye from parading himself henceforth as the Oloffa of Offa and as well, ordered the state Attorney General and the state governor to install Alhaji Abdulrauf Adegboyege Keji as the new Oloffa in his stead.
The judges upheld the evidence of the appellants – the Olugbense ruling house and Keji – and also granted all their 16 reliefs which included the appointment and installation of Esuwoye.
The court affirmed the claims of the Olugbense ruling house that the ascension to the stool of Oloffa of Offa was by rotation between the house and Anilerin ruling house which had been established since 1969.
“The rotation principle has been established since 1969 when the late Oba keji from the Olugbense ruling house agreed to step down and allowed the late Oba Mustapha Olawore Olanipekun from the Anilerin ruling house to ascend the throne in order to allow peace to reign in
Offa. This was after the intervention of the government,” the court stated.
The appellants had among other things, prayed the court to declare that Adegboyega Keji “is the validly and duly nominated candidate to the stool of Olofa of Offa and entitled to be appointed and installed the Oloffa.
They also prayed the court to nullify the appointment and installation of Esuwoye with a perpetual injunction to restrain him from parading himself as the Oloffa of Offa while Keji is installed in his stead.