Omotoshola Sarimakin, Ondo
The family of the late Alaye-Aba of Aba Ayepe, Ogun State, Oba Rauf Raji-Suleimon, on Tuesday, dragged members of the Osugbo Society in Ijebuland before a court for allegedly hijacking the corpse of the traditional ruler.
The family dragged the traditionalists before a Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta.
In a matter of fundamental rights brought before the court against the traditionalists, the family said the monarch, who died on January 22, 2021, was a practising Muslim until his demise and he deserved to be buried according to Islamic rites.
The family labelled the act of the group as an infringement on their constitutional and fundamental rights to accord their father a dignified burial.
The suit, marked, FHC/Ab/FHR/20/21, was filed (for and on behalf of children and family of the monarch by Mrs Aderonke Egunjimi, Mrs Tiwalade Abass and Mrs Adeyemi Joseph.
Fifteen members of the Osugbo Society of Ijebuland and the Ijebu traditional council were joined.
A copy of the originating motion on notice, which was obtained by our correspondent, stated that the action of the traditionalists constituted “a practice that is unconstitutional, illegal, vexatious, barbaric, obnoxious, immoral and repugnant to the dictates of civil order as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).”
They sought an order of mandatory injunction compelling the respondents to return forthwith the corpse of the late monarch to the custody of the applicants at the applicants’ family home.
The applicants also sought an order directing the respondents to pay N50bn as damages.
When the matter came up for mentioning on Tuesday, the applicants’ counsel, Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, told the court that he had not been able to serve some of the parties involved in the matter.
Ayorinde, therefore, moved an application seeking an order of substituted services on respondents yet to be served.
In his ruling, Justice Mohammed Abubakar held that the court was satisfied with the application, describing it as “meritorious.”
He granted the application and adjourned the matter till April 26, 2021, for hearing.