Court warns Ekiti monarch against trial at palace 

An Ekiti state High Court has warned the Ogoga of Ikere-Ekiti, Oba Samuel Adu Alagbado, against practicing trial by ordeal in his domain.

Justice Olalekan Olatawura of Ado-Ekiti High Court gave the warning while delivering judgment on the matter filed by the Ekiti state government against Omoyeni Blessing.

Omoyeni was charged on three-count charge of conspiracy, membership of secret cult and obtaining by false pretense.

Justice Olatawura described the detention of the defendant in the palace of Ogoga as a crime cognisable under sections 141-143 of the Criminal Law of Ekiti state.

The judge stated that no traditional ruler has the right to take laws into their hands in the discharge of their duty to rid their jurisdictions of crimes and other criminal activities.

The judgment reads; “Before I announce on the appropriate order to make in the circumstances, I cannot in good conscience shut my ears to an aspect of the defendant on which he was not cross examined at all, which I find not only disturbing but shocking. This also resonates in the statement of Gboyega Adewumi, exhibit G, tendered by the prosecution.

“The first is the existence of a detention facility in the palace of the Ogoga of Ikere-Ekiti where citizens are unlawfully detained on allegations of criminality, the second is forcing and or suggesting that alleged criminals take water and Kolanut to prove their innocence of alleged crimes or to take an oath to desist from criminal activities, indicative of trial by ordeal being carried out in the said palace, which I must say is a crime cognisable under sections 141-143 of the Criminal Law of Ekiti state.

“While efforts by traditional rulers to aggressively rid their domains of criminals and miscreants is laudable and commendable, I must say straightforward that they cannot take laws into their hand and also infringe on citizens fundamental rights and or engage in criminality in the course hereof. If all these allegations are indeed true, and I hope not, such acts must be stopped forthwith, I need not say more.”