THE raging controversy over the refusal of Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi to appear before a Magistrate took a new turn on Friday in Osogbo as an Osun State Chief Magistrate’s Court ordered the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Fimihan Adeoye, to immediately arrest the traditional ruler.
It is recalled that Senior Magistrate Olusola Aluko had on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 issued a bench warrant for Oluwo’s arrest and also last Wednesday ordered the monarch to appear in court on Friday, December, 30, 2016.
However, Oba Akanbi had declared that he would not appear in court, insisting that he had no case to answer and that the court lacked jurisdiction to adjudicate on the matter before it.
Similarly, he failed to show up in court when the case came up for hearing on Friday, while his counsel, Barrister Olayide Yekeen was also absent.
But, presiding Magistrate Aluko explained that the litigation brought before him against the Oluwo of Iwo was a criminal case and considering the bench warrant issued by him, “the accused person is supposed to have been arrested and kept in prison custody.”
Though, Oba Akanbi’s counsel wrote the court on why he would not be available for Friday’s proceeding, counsel to the applicant, Barrister Soji Oyetayo argued that no reason was adduced for the absence of his client (Oluwo of Iwo).
While giving more details on the alleged criminal matters brought against Oba Akanbi, Magistrate Aluko maintained that the applicant, the Oluwo of Iwo-Oke, Oba Kadiri Adeoye did not file a chieftaincy case before him.
According to him, “I will like to say that the matter before me was filed based on sections 35, 37 and 38 of the criminal procedures of Osun State. In a criminal case such as this, a defendant must appear in court. This court is not trying a chieftaincy matter. It is the law that once an order is made, to prevent anarchy, such order must be obeyed.
“It is to be noted that an order was first made by my brother, Magistrate Omisade of Iwo jurisdiction before the case was transferred here by fiat and I had warned him (Oba Akanbi) three times to appear before this court.
“The first respondent is in contempt of the court. He should also come and explain the statements credited to him on television and newspapers against this court. I have a duty to protect the judiciary which the respondent wanted to embarrass and humiliate,” Aluko added.
He, however, criticised the state Commissioner of Police for failing to perform its duty by not effecting the bench warrant on Oba Akanbi, which he said was personally signed by him (Aluko) and was handed over to an officer of the state police command.
Aluko stated, “I am baffled that the Commissioner of Police has not done his duty. I am also surprised by his claim that he was unaware of the bench warrant. That must be a joke of the century. I therefore ordered him to immediately arrest the respondent.
“I am not joking with my order. He should be arrested and brought to this court on Friday, January 6, 2017. The sanctity of the judiciary must be protected,” he remarked.