THERE is tension in Offa, Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State, as the people await the judgment of the Supreme Court on Olofa of Offa stool.
It has reserved judgment for July 1.
The Nation learnt that the indigenes are anxious about the judgment.
The legal tussle is between the incumbent monarch, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi and a contestant to the stool, Prince Abdulrahoof Keji.
Gbadamosi is of the Anilelerin ruling house, while Keji hails from Olugbense ruling house.
When the predecessor of Oba Gbadamosi passed on in 2012 and there was need to fill the stool, the Olugbense ruling house cited the rotational policy of the government, as allegedly gazetted in 1969.But the majority of the kingmakers aligned with the position of the Anilelerin ruling house that there must be a contest between candidates of the ruling houses to fill the vacuum created by the late Oba Mustapha Olanipekun, who was of the Anilelerin ruling house.
One Oba Isiwoye of the Anilelerin ruling house was said to have been deposed, prompting the enthronement of Alhaji Mustapha Keji as Olofa in 1969. But when Oba Olanipekun wanted to succeed the deposed king, the Olugbense ruling house was said to have opposed it on the grounds that the Anilelerin ruling house, with the deposition of Oba Isiwoye, had forfeited its turn.
The ensuing crisis at the time, which was described as threatening the continued survival of Offa as a town, was said to have prompted government’s intervention, leading to alleged official documents on rotational policy over the throne of Olofa “since 1969”.
The government after the choice of Gbadamosi by the kingmakers presented him with a staff of office at a ceremony in Offa despite a complaint by the opposing ruling house.
Displeased with the government’s decision, the Olugbense ruling house filed a suit at the state High Court, Offa, seeking among others, the declaration of the enthronement of Oba Gbadamosi as “illegal, and therefore null and void.”
The court agreed that the two ruling houses exist in Offa, but in its judgment of July 2012 declared the non-existence of “rotational policy” as alleged by the Olugbense ruling house.
The Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, upturned the judgment of the lower court, saying it was the turn of the Olugbense ruling house to present the next Olofa.