Respite has come for the Oluwo of Iwo, , Abdurasheed Akanbi, as the judge handling his case stepped down and the petitioner also withdrew his suit.
The Oluwo on Friday failed to appear before the Osogbo Magistrate Court to defend himself against allegations of fraud brought against him by the Oluwo Oke of Iwo Oke, Kadiri Adeoye.
Mr. Akanbi has, however, retracted the statements he made against the Chief magistrate, Olusola Aluko, his lawyer said.
On Friday, Mr. Aluko declared that he was stepping aside from the case to uphold the “sanctity and integrity of the judiciary.”
Taking the decision at the resumed hearing of the case, Mr. Aluko said the case file would be returned to the Chief Registrar of the State High Court for further judicial action.
“Having looked at matters bordering on this case and alleged to be bias on this matter, I need not make any pronouncement on this matter,” he said.
“I have to adjourn this case, and submit the case file to the office of the state Chief Judge which will assign another Magistrate to handle this case.”
Following the development, the petitioner, Mr. Adeoye, approached the court through his counsel, Soji Oyetayo, to withdraw the suit.
The lawyer informed the court of his client’s resolve to discontinue the case against Mr. Akanbi.
“Several eminent personalities within and outside the state have intervened in the matter and in the interest of peace, we decide to withdraw this case,” Mr. Oyetayo said.
“In view of this, we seek your authority to withdraw this application.”
Also, the counsel to the Oluwo of Iwo, Laide Yekinni, told the court that the traditional ruler had retracted his earlier comments against the magistrate after Mr. Aluko ordered the state commissioner of police, Fimihan Adeoye, to arrest and produce the monarch in court.
He said Mr. Akanbi’s statement describing Mr. Aluko as “a shame on judiciary…,” has been withdrawn.
Mr. Yekinni said he was in support of the position of the Iwo traditional council on the issue and pleaded with the court to grant the request.
A group of traditional rulers, led by the Oluwo of Kuta, Hammed Makama, had earlier pleaded with the court to “temper justice with mercy.”
“The Oluwo of Iwo at any time did not ridicule the integrity and order of a court of competent jurisdiction or meant to disregard the law,” Mr. Makama said as he pleaded with the court.
“The Oluwo of Iwo is absent in court due to some health challenges and could not as a custodian of culture, norms and values prove to be above the law of the land.”
Magistrate Aluko who said his pronouncement was not aimed at disrespecting the traditional institution said the handling of the case was subject to constitutional provisions.
Despite his withdrawal from the case, Mr. Aluko adjourned further hearing in the matter till February 15.
The development in court on Friday followed the intervention of the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, who pleaded with the judiciary and the Oluwo Oke to soft pedal on the matter.
Mr. Adeoye had filed his case in court accusing the Oluwo of lying to the state government before he was installed as king including lying about a criminal past.
The Oluwo has said the charges were false.