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Osugbo leaders dragged to court for ‘hijacking’ Ogun Oba’s corpse

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Family of the late Alaye – Aba of Aba Ayepe, Ogun State, Oba Rauf Adebayo Raji-Suleimon, has dragged members of the Osugbo society in Ijebuland before a Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta, for allegedly hijacking the corpse of the deceased traditional ruler from them.

DAILY POST learnt that the monarch, who died on January 22, 2021, was allegedly hijacked and forcefully removed from the custody of his family by the Osugbo society.

It was gathered that the traditionalists insisted that the monarch must be buried according to traditional rites, being an Oba.

But, the family disagreed with the Osugbo society, saying the monarch, being a practising Muslim, must be buried according to Islamic rites.

The family described the act as an infringement on their fundamental rights “to dignity to accord their father dignified burial and funeral rites in accordance with Islamic injunctions.”

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In suit number, FHC/Ab/FHR/20/21, filed for and on behalf of children and family of the monarch respectively by Mrs Aderonke Egunjimi, Mrs Tiwalade Abass and Mrs Adeyemi Joseph, 15 members of the Osugbo society of Ijebuland and the Ijebu Traditional Council were joined as respondents.

According to a copy of the Originating Motion On Notice, the applicants said 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 are seeking 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.

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The applicants also sought an order directing the respondents to pay N50 billion as damages to the applicants for the infringement of their fundamental and constitutional rights of the applicants and the late monarch.

DAILY POST reports that the case came for mentioning on Tuesday, but the counsel to the applicants, Bolaji Ayorinde, told the court that he was unable to serve some of the parties involved in the matter.

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The counsel sought an order of substituted services on the respondents yet to be served.

Ruling, Justice Mohammed Abubakar said the court was pleased with the application, describing it as “meritorious.”

He, therefore, granted the order as prayed by the applicants’ counsel.

The case has since been adjourned till April 26 for the hearing.

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