The new panel of justices in the Court of Appeal sitting in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, yesterday stayed off all proceedings and applications before it, over tussle on Olofa of Offa stool.
The stool is a first class monarch’s office in the ancient town of offa local government area state of Kwara state being contested by Olugbense and Anilelerin ruling house.
The appellate court had in July last year declared the selection and installation of Anilelerin candidate, Alhaji Mohammed Mufutau Gbadamosi as the Olofa of Offa as illegal.
But the monarch immediately appealed the judgement at the Supreme Court and filed a motion at the Appeal Court for a stay of execution and injunction order pending the outcome of the apex court judgement.
The Olugbense ruling house opposed the application and petitioned initially to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) expressing lack confidence in the old panel.
This warranted the set of the new panel of justices headed by A.G. Mshelia. Others include Justices A. Jauro and R.N. Pemu.
During the first sitting of the new panel of justices on Tuesday this week, Lead Counsel to the Olugbense ruling house, John Bayeshea represented by Toyin Oladipo informed the court that they have filed a notice of “pendency of motion before the Supreme Court.”
He said “the motion is essentially stay all the proceedings in the court of Appeal here and remove the appending applications from the Appeal Court here to the Supreme Court.”
The notice is titled: “Notice of pendency of an application before the Supreme Court.”
But Malam Yusuf Ali and Chief Lawal Rabana lead counsel to the kingmakers and Alhaji Mufutau Gbadamosi had informed the court of their preliminary objection to the notice, citing Order 7 Rule one of the Appeal Court.
In a unanimous judgment prepared by Justice Jauro and presented by Justice Pemu said the applicants’ “pendency of motion before the Supreme Court” is not an application necessitating compliance with Order 7 Rule one of the Appeal Court.
She said: “this court is a court of law and equity. This court hereby puts on hold all applications and proceedings before it pending the determination of all applications before the Supreme Court.”