Alleged Hijacked of Monarch’s Corpes: Oshugbo Cult Group Slammed With N50bn Suit
Three children of the late Oba Rauf Adebayo Raji-Suleimon, the Alaye-Aba of Aba, Aiyepe-Ijebu, Ogun State, have instituted a N50 billion fundamental rights enforcement suit, before a Federal High Court, sitting in Abeokuta against members/representatives of an unincorporated Oshugbo Society of Ijebuland (known as the Ogboni) over alleged hijacking of the body of late monarch Father, on January 24, 2021.
The children, Mrs. Aderonke Egunjimi, Mrs. Tiwalade Abass and Mrs. Adeyemi Joseph in the suit filed by their lawyer, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) accused members of the society of infringement of their rights to privacy and family life, when the body of their late father, Alaiyeluwa Oba Rauf Adebayo Raji-Suleimon, was allegedly hijacked by the members of the society, thus depriving their late father a befitting burial.
The defendants in the suit are; Chief Adeleke Adetola Dako, Chief Mojid Ogunmefun, Lekan Adekoko, Chief Ebenezar Ogunlala, Chief Fagbola Adeniyi, Kazeem Adeleke, Taorid Jimoh and Abiodun Adeleke, who were listed as first to eigth defendants.
Others who were listed as ninth to 15 defendants in the suit are: Monsuru Eleku, Chief Safiriyu Adeleye, Jamiu Salawu, Chief Sodiq Osiyemi, Chief Eji Ademeji, Chief Adebisi Opanuga, and Chief Ayo Olubukola, while Ijebu-Ode Local Government, Ijebu East Local Government, Ijebu North Local Government, Ijebu North East Local Government, and Ogun Waterside Local Government) and Ijebu Traditional Council.
All the respondents were sued jointly and severally.
The late Monarch’s children stated that they were stripped of their dignity, rights to privacy and family life, rights to freedom of conscience thought and religion and for the untold hardships and trauma when the body of their late father was hijacked by the first to 15th respondents on January 24, 2021.
Consequently, they ars asking the court for an order restraining Ijebu Traditional Council from giving any directions or orders to the first to 15th respondents contrary to the reliefs sought by the applicants.
They also asked the court for a declaration that the act and conduct of the first to 15th respondents, by forcefully removed the corpse of their late father from their custody and other family members, constitute an infringement of the applicants’ constitutional and fundamental rights to dignity contrary to Section 34 (1) of the Constitution.
They urged the court to declare the conduct and practice of the 1st to 15th unconstitutional, illegal, vexatious, barbaric, obnoxious, immoral and repugnant to the dictates of civil order as enshrined in the 1999 constitution and Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement act) CAP A9 LFN 2004’’.
They are also asking the court to restrain the first to 15th respondents whether by themselves or their servants, representatives, agents, privies or any persons acting in their stead from continuing to keep, burying, conducting any rites or rituals or take any steps in respect to the corpse of late Alaiyeluwa Oba Rauf Adebayo Raji-Suleimon.
The applicants are also asking for an order of mandatory injunction compelling the first to 15th respondents to return forthwith the corpse of their late father, Alaiyeluwa Oba Rauf Adebayo Raji-Suleimon to their custody at the applicants’ Family House being at No 1, Alaye Aba Street, Aba Quarters, Aiyepe, Ogun State.
The applicants in an affidavit in support of Originating Motion on Notice, deposed to by Alhaji Yisa Oloyede Sulaimon, a younger brother of the late monarch, stated that traditionally, members of the Osugbo Society act as enforcers of the decisions of Obas in Ijebuland.
He stated that following the demise of his late monach brother, the Alaye-Aba of Aba, Aiyepe, the applicants together with the other members of his family commenced the process of according the deceased a dignified burial and other rites in accordance with Islamic injunctions, the deceased being a practicing Muslim in his lifetime.
He further stated that the late Oba Rauf Adebayo Raji-Sulaimon was a devoted and practicing Muslim in his lifetime, performing pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina and who had several awards and recognitions by the several Muslim Societies because of his contributions to the Islamic faith.
He stated that on January 24, 2021, the family had already made arrangements such as digging the grave, setting up canopies for visitors and other funeral arrangements and concluded arrangement to bury their father according to Islamic rites when the defendant forcefully took his body away.
The applicants pleaded with the court to grant all the reliefs sought and the respondents.
Though, respondents are yet to file any counter to the application, while no date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.