A Magistrate Court, sitting in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, has issued a bench warrant against the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Adewale Akanbi, following the monarch’s refusal to appear in court in a case instituted by the Oluwo of Iwo Oke, Oba Kadiri Adeoye.
The implication of the bench warrant, according to lawyers, is that the monarch should be arrested and brought before the court at its next adjourned sitting.
Although Oba Akanbi was represented in court on Tuesday by his counsel, Mr. Olaide Yekeen, Magistrate Olusola Aluko issued the bench warrant despite the application for a stay of proceeding, notice of preliminary objection and a notice of appeal filed before the court.
Oba Akanbi, the paramount ruler of Iwoland, was dragged before the court by the Oluwo of Iwo Oke, for alleged criminal offences.
The magistrate had, at the last sitting of the court on December 2, threatened to issue a bench warrant on the monarch if he refused to appear in court on Tuesday (yesterday). Counsel for Oba Akanbi had told the court that his client had several applications before the court, adding that the notice of preliminary objection, which bordered on competence and jurisdiction of the court, should be heard first before the substantive application.
He said Section 19 (1) of the Magistrate Court Laws highlighted the jurisdiction of the court, arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter.
But counsel for the applicant, Soji Oyetayo, in his submission, told the court that the court made an order which the Oluwo had refused to comply with.
The magistrate, in his ruling, agreed with the respondent (the Oluwo) on the issue of jurisdiction, but said the notice of appeal was not ripe.
He said, “The court mandated the first respondent to appear in court. He has violated the court order of the last adjourned date. I hereby issue a bench warrant against him.”