Withdraw purported appointment of Mustapha Ibrahim Ayeniba as acting Onu of Ajaokuta within 14 days or we initate contempt proceedings against you before Kogi State High Court – Ikere Clan of Ajaokuta
Ajaokuta Local Government Council,
Ajaokuta Local Government Secretariat,
Demand for Withdrawal of Your Purported Appointment of Mustapha Ibrahim Ayeniba As Acting Onu of Ajaokuta.
We are Counsel for Ikere clan of Ajaokuta (hereinafter referred to as our clients) whose leaders and representatives have firmly instructed us to write to you in the following terms.
Please recall that on 23° May, 2003, the erstwhile Governor of Kogi State, late Prince Abubakar Audu appointed one Muhammed Ametinigo as Onu of Ajaokuta contrary to native law and custom regulating ascension to the chieftaincy stool. Our clients, challenged the purported appointment until the intervention of the Chieftaincy Review Committee set up by the Administration of Alhaji Ibrahim Idris who succeeded late Prince Abubakar Audu as Governor of Kogi State. The said Chieftaincy Review Committee recommended Kasim Ibrahim who was duly nominated by the Kingmakers to the chieftaincy stool as Onu of Ajaokuta for approval of appointment as Onu of Ajaokuta by the Governor of Kogi State.
Following the acceptance of the recommendation by Kogi State Government through the White Paper Committee it set up, late Alhaji Kasim Ibrahim’s nomination/appointment by the Kingmakers was duly approved by the then Governor of Kogi State, ‘Alhaji Ibrahim Idris and Alhaji Muhammed Ametinigo that was earlier appointed as Onu of Ajaokuta was consequently removed,
Dissatisfied, Alhaji Muhammed Ametinigo instituted Suit No. KGS/AJ/09/2006 to challenge his removal and the appointment of Alhaji Kasim Ibrahim as Onu of Ajaokuta. In its judgment of 28” February, 2017, Kogi State High Court sitting at Ajaokuta declared that:
‘The letter purporting to appoint Alhaji Muhammed Ametinigo as Onu Ajaokuta dated 23° May, 2003 is contrary to native law and custom, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.
(b) Only members of Ikere clan of Ajaokuta are qualified and entitled to bé appointed Onu of Ajaokuta in accordance with the applicable native law and custom.
(c) ~Alhaji Muhammed Ametinigo not being a member of Ikere clan is not qualified to aspire to or be appointed Onu Ajaokuta.
Consequently upon the grant of the foregoing declaratory reliefs, the court set aside the letter of 23° May, 2003 purporting to appoint Alhaji Muhammed Ametinigo as Onu of Ajaokuta. The decison of the court set out above was predicated on the counter Claim of late Alhaji Kasim Ibrahim as Onu of Ajaokuta and Honourable Baba Ali as Head of Ikere clan who were joined as 4th and 5th Defendants upon an application filed on their behalf by their Counsel.
Following the demise of the immediate past Onu of Ajaokute as aforesaid, Umar Kasim Ibrahim, the son of the deceased Onu of Ajaokuta, became the acting Onu of Ajaokuta in accordance with native law and custom. Meanwhile, the Kingmakers have nominated/appointed a member of Ikere clan whose name and relevant particulars have since been submitted to Ajaokuta Local Government Traditional Council for its recommendation and subsequent recommendation by Ebira Area Traditional Counci, Kogl State Council of Chiefs and’ final approval of his appointment by the Governor of Kogi State.
With due respect, no provision of any existing law of Kogi State vests in you the power or right to appoint an acting Onu of Ajaokuta. The native law and custom regulating ascension to the Chieftaincy stool of Onu of Ajaokuta does not empower you to appoint an acting Onu of Ajaokuta pending the approval of the member of Ikere clan already nominated/appointed by the Kingmakers. Worse still, your purported appointment of one Mustapha Ibrahim Ayeniba who is not a member of Ikere can as acting Onu of Ajaokuta is a brazen violation of the judgment of Kog! State High Court sitting at Ajaokuta delivered on 28” February, 2037 in Suit No. KGS/AJ/09/2006.
TAKE NOTICE THEREFORE that If you fail, neglect and or refuse to withdraw the purported appointment of Mustapha Ibrahim Ayeniba as acting Onu of Ajaokuta within 14 days from the date of this letter with a copy of such letter of withdrawal sent to this office, we shall without further notice to you initate contempt proceedings against you before Kogi State High Court,
E.A. Haruna & Co