Timothy Adeilo Adefulu & 12 Others v Bello Oyesile & 5 Others (SC 5/1988) [1989] NGSC 13 (7 December 1989)


In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 8th day of December 1989

SC 5/1988

Between

Timothy Adeilo Adefulu &12 Ors. .......                      Appellants

And

Bello Oyesile & 3 Ors.                      .......                      Respondents

(for themselves and the Agaigi Ruling House of Ilishan-Remo)

and 2 Ors.)

Attorney-General of Ogun State

Governor of Ogun State

Judgement of the Court

Delivered by

Muhammadu Lawal Uwais, J.S.C.

The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Respondents were the plaintiffs in the High Court of Ogun State. They instituted an action against all the appellants and the 5th and 6th Respondents, as Defendants, claiming in their writ of summons as follows

1.      A declaration that the appointment, the purported approval and the new installation of the first Defendant (herein 1st appellant) as the new Olofin of Illishan-Remo are irregular, unlawful and therefore, null and void as same were not done in accordance with the provisions of the Western Region (Ogun State) of Nigeria Chiefs Law and the relevant Chieftaincy Declaration in respect of succession to the stool of Olofin of Ilisan-Remo.

2.      Injunction restraining the first Defendant from parading himself as the Olofin of Ilishan-Remo and the other Defendants from recognising the said first Defendant as the Olofin of Ilisan-Remo.

In the trial court (Sofolahan, J.) the parties agreed on the following facts. The chieftaincy title of the Olofin of Ilishan-Remo in Ogun State became vacant. The Secretary to the Ijebu Remo Local Government, Mr. J. 1 Sholaja (P.W.1) by a notice (exhibit A) sent to the Agaigi Ruling House called for the nomination of a candidate or candidates for the consideration of the Kingmakers for appointment of a new Olofin of Ilisan-Remo. The notice reads:-

IJEBU REMO LOCAL GOVERNMENT

NOTICE

FILLING OF VACANCY OF OLOFIN OF ILISHAN

Pursuant to section ll(1)(a) of the Chiefs Law Cap. 19 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN to AGAIGI RULING HOUSE, whose turn it is to provide a candidate for the vacant stool of Olofin of Ilisan to nominate within 14 (Fourteen) days of the date of this notice candidate or candidates for the consideration and selection by the Kingmakers.

2.      Persons who may be proposed as candidates to fill the vacancy must be -

(a)      Members of the Agaigi Ruling House;

(b)      Of the Male or Female line at will with a popular support.

3.      The Agaigi Ruling House shall nominate at a family meeting to be summoned by the Head of the family candidate/candidates for the Chieftaincy to be presented by the family head to the Kingmakers.

4.      If within the period of 14 days given above, the Agaigi Ruling House fails to submit the name or names of a candidate or candidates the next ruling house in order of rotation will be called upon to provide candidate for the vacancy in accordance with section 11(1)(c) of the Chief Law Cap. 19.

5.      The Secretary to Local Government will attend the meeting of both the Ruling House and the Kingmakers as an observer and he should be informed in good time of the date, time and place of the meetings to enable him to attend.

Made this 12th day of February, 1981.

 

(Sgd.) J. 1. Sholaja

Secretary

Ijebu Remo Local Government.

Our Ref No. IRLG. 779/247

Local Government Secretariat,

Private Mail Bag No.2015,

Sagamu.

On receipt of the notice by the Agaigi Ruling House a meeting of the members of the Agaigi Ruling House was called for the 25th day of February, 1981. At the meeting Bello Oyesile (1st Respondent) was appointed as the head of the Agaigi Ruling House and he thereby became a kingmaker. Nominations of candidates were made at the meeting for submission to the kingmakers for the purpose of appointing one of the nominated candidates as the next Olofin. The kingmakers, namely the 2nd to 13th appellants and the 1st Respondent, met on the 17th day of March, 1981. The kingmakers selected the 1st appellant as the next Olofin and the Governor of Ogun State (the 6th Respondent) approved the appointment of the 1st appellant as the Olofin of Ilisan-Remo.

The disagreement between the parties arose in respect of the following facts. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Respondents' case is that at the meeting held on the 25th day of February, 1981 by the Agaigi Ruling House, four members of the Ruling House were jointly nominated and approved by votes as the candidates to be considered by the kingmakers. The four candidates were voted for en bloc by 82 of the 97 members of the Ruling House who were present at the meeting. After the voting, two other names were proposed as candidates also to be forwarded to the kingmakers. This proposal was opposed by some members of the Ruling House. As a result the proposal was put to vote and was defeated by 82 votes to 15. The 2nd Respondent, as member of the Ruling House acted as its Secretary at the meeting. 2nd Respondent took down the minutes of the meeting (exhibit "G") and prepared a certificate of nomination (exhibit "C"). Both exhibits "C" and "G" which were thumb-printed and signed by 1st and 2nd Respondents respectively, were sent to each of the kingmakers and the Secretary to Ijebu Remo Local Government (P.W.1). Apart from the 1st and 2nd Respondents four other members of the Ruling family signed or thumb-printed exhibit "C" which reads thus:

CERTIFICATE OF NOMINATION

It is hereby certified that as the family meeting of the Agaigi Ruling House held today 25th February, 1981 at the residence of Mr. Bello Oyesile, the Head of the family the following candidates were nominated for the vacant stool of Olofin of Ilisan for consideration and selection by the kingmakers.

1.       Rabiu Fujamade        

Male Line

2.       Abel Olufemi Osude        

Male Line

3.       Kola Ileke        

Female Line

4.       Lamina Ogun Fakoya     

Female Line

SIGNED By:

1.      H.R.T.I. of Bello Oyesile. ( Family Head)

2.      (Sgd.) 0.0. Okulaja-Secretary

3.      (Sgd.) Alhaji B. S. Ladegbuwa

4.      (Sgd.) D. F. Sofola

5.      (Sgd.) ? ? ? Balogun

6.      H.R.T.I. of Alhaji Tijani Adebayo.

The Secretary to the Ijebu Remo Local Government (P.W.1) was present, as an official observer throughout the duration of the meeting held by the Agaigi family. He wrote down his observation at the meeting (exhibit "B") and then wrote a letter to the kingmakers. The letter (exhibit "Q") reads as follows -

IJEBU REMO LOCAL GOVERNMENT

LOCAL GOVERNMENT SECRETARIAT

P.M.B. 2015, SAGAMU.

Our Ref. No. IRLG. 779/9/265 6th March, 1981

To: ALL KINGMAKERS

OLOFIN OF ILISAN

 

The Osugbos

The Emos

1. The Oliwo

1. The Olori Emo (Ademo)

2. The Apena

2. Olori Ebi - (Iwaye)

3.Igbakeji Apena        

3.Olori Ebi - (Agaigi)

4.    Olotu Iware

4.   Olori Ebi - (Isokun)

5. Igbakeji Olotu Iware

5. Olori Ebi - (Fesogboye)

6. Olotu Ijo        

6. Olori Ebi - (Kore gun)

7. Igbakeji Olotu Ijo     

7. Olori Ebi - (Serolu)

8. Olutu Igan    

8.  Olori Ebi - (Ladejobi)

Filling of Vacancy of Olofin of Ilisan

 

Following the meeting of the Agaigi Ruling House held on the 25th February, 1981, for the nomination of candidate/candidates on the above subject matter, I have been informed by the Agaigbi Family that the minutes of the meeting and the Certificate of Nomination have been forwarded to the kingmakers for consideration and selection.

2.      In accordance with section 11(i)(d) of the Chiefs Law Cap. 19, the kingmakers shall within and not more than seven (7) days of the submission of the names of candidates proceed to select the candidate to fill the vacancy at a meeting to hold at the Oliwo's House.

 

3.      As I am to attend the meeting of the kingmakers as an observer, I shall be grateful, if I can be informed in good time of the date, time and address of their meeting to enable me to attend.

 

(Sgd.) J. I. Sholaja

 

for Secretary

 

Ijebu Remo Local Government.

 

At the meeting of the kingmakers, which was held on the 17th day of March, 1981, and was attended by P.W. 1. again as an official observer, six candidates instead of the four forwarded by the Agaigi Ruling House were considered. Part of the minutes of the meeting held by the kingmakers (exhibit "'S") reads -

 

The purpose of the meeting was to select a candidate from the nominations before the kingmakers for the vacant stool of the Olofin of Ilisan Remo.

 

The Apena, Chief Banjo Onabiyi stated at the meeting that prior to this day, the Osugbo section of the kingmakers had held three meetings, two with the Emos, after receiving six nominations as recorded in the minutes held on the 25th of February, 1981. He stated that subsequently, and in accordance with traditional procedure for the exercise of selecting a choice from among nominated candidates, a Babalawo, (an Ifa priest) was called to find, by Ifa oracle, the best and suitable candidate from the six nominated candidates. He declared that consequently one of the candidates had been picked as suitable for the vacant throne of the Olofin of Ilisan.

The Secretary of Ijebu Remo Local Government, cut in to say that he received four nominated names after the meeting of 25th February, 1981 contrary to the six nominations made at that meeting: Namely:

1. Rabiyu Fujamade      

nominated by Ladegbuwa Alhaji Salisu and supported by seventy-two votes.

2. Mr. Abel Olu Osude

3. Mr. Kola Odubawo

4. Mr. Lamina Fakoya

5. Mr. Timothy Adeilo Adefulu

nominated by Mr. Simeon Ifede and supported by thirteen votes.

6.Alhaji Rufai Awodein.

The secretary to Remo Local Government went further to say, at this meeting of 17th March, 1981 that qualification for the selection of a candidate lies entirely on the qualities and personal attributes of a candidate and not on the divination by Ifa oracle.

At this juncture, the Igbakeji Apena, Chief Sogbuyi Fagorala stated that the Osugbo members of the kingmakers had a list of the six nominated candidates as contained in the minutes of the Agaigi Ruling House held on the 25th February, 1981 at which the secretary was present before an Ifa priest was called to cast his oracle.

Then Mr. Bello Oyesile, the Head of Agaigi Ruling House said that he was not aware of the names of the candidates presented to the kingmakers. He said that all that happened was that Mr Rabiyu Fujamade made him to thumb print a paper while of course he (Rabiyu Fujamade) did not tell him that he was aspiring for the vacant stool.

Following this, the Secretary to Ijebu Remo Local Government read the minutes of the meeting of 25th February, 1981 as taken by him to remind Mr. Bello Oyesile the Head of Agaigi Ruling House of the fact that Chief Olulaja was the secretary for that meeting and not Mr. Rabiya Fujamade.

After this, Chief Banjo Onabiyi, the Apena, got up and said that all the kingmakers found from among the six nominated candidates Mr. Timothy Adeilo Adefulu as the suitable choice for the vacant stool of the Olofin of Ilisan Remo judging from his personal qualities and attributes.

The secretary to Ijebu Remo Local Government, Mr. Solaja then asked Mr. Bello Oyesile, the Head of Agaigi Ruling House if he listened to and heard what the Apena Chief Banjo Onabiyi said Mr. Bello Oyesile replied by saying that the kingmakers should pick the best candidate from the six nominations before them.

Following that, the Apena, Chief Banjo Onabiyi speaking for the kingmakers got up a second time and said that the kingmakers were making their choice by picking Mr. Timothy Adeilo Adefulu as the suitable candidates to fill the vacant stool of the Olofin of Ilisan Remo. At this point the Apena, facing all the members of the kingmakers thereby present, asked if he was expressing their choice. All of them present said, "Yes".

Finally, the secretary to Ijebu Remo Local Government asked all the members present if there was any contrary choice. Nobody said anything contrary to the unanimous choice.

Information about the decision of the kingmakers leaked to the members of the Agaigi Ruling House and they caused their solicitors to write to P.W. 1 and complain that the wrong procedure had been followed by the meeting of the kingmakers and that a candidate not nominated by the Agaigi Ruling House had been selected by the kingmakers as the next Olofin of Ilishan-Remo. Two letters (exhibits D and F) to that effect were written by the Solicitors to P.W.1 who did not bother to reply them. In addition two copies of Exhibits D and E were sent to the Deputy Governor of Ogun State who was then in charge of Chieftancy Affairs. A petition (exhibit H) on the same issue was sent to the Deputy Governor. Another petition (exhibit J) was also sent to the Governor of Ogun State (6th Respondent). All the protestations notwithstanding, there was a radio announcement that the selection of 1st appellant as the new Olofin had been approved by the Governor of Ogun State (6th Respondent). The same announcement was contained as news in the issues of the Nigerian Tribune and Sketch newspapers of the 20th April, 1981. A government gazette notice confirming the news was issued on the 14th day of May, 1981. The gazette notice (exhibit M) reads :-

OGUN STATE OF NIGERIA

GAZETTE NO.21 VOL.6, 14TH MAY, 1981

OGUN STATE NOTICE NO.88

The Chiefs Law (Cap. 19)

APPROVAL OF

APPOINTMENT OF RECOGNISED CHIEF

It is hereby notified for public information that in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 16 of the Chiefs Law, Cap. 19 and by virtue of all other powers enabling in that behalf, the Deputy Governor of Ogun State of Nigeria has on the 13th day of April, 1981 approved the appointment of TIMOTHY ADEILO ADEFULU as the Olofin of Ilisan in the Irepodun Local Government Area.

Dr. A. Ogunleye,

Secretary to the Government of Ogun State Abeokuta, 21st April, 1981."

 

The case for the 1st appellant was that as a member of the Agaigi Ruling House, he was qualified to be nominated as a candidate for appointment as the Olofin of Ilisan-Remo. That he was, together with another, duly nominated at the meeting held on the 25th day of February, 1981 by 15 members of the Ruling House. The 1st appellant also contended that the procedure followed by the kingmakers was proper and not irregular.

 

In his considered judgment the learned trial Judge held that the 1st appellant was a member of Agaigi Ruling House and was therefore qualified to be nominated as a candidate for appointment as the Olofin of Ilisan-Remo in accordance with the provisions of section 14 subsection (1) of the Chiefs Law, Cap. 20 of the Laws of Ogun State of Nigeria, 1978 which reads:-

14     (1)      A person shall, unless he is disqualified, be qualified to be a candidate to fill a  vacancy in a recognised chieftaincy if -

(a)      he is proposed by the ruling house or the persons having the right to nominate the candidate according to customary law; and

(b)(i) he is a person whom the ruling house or the persons having the right to nominate candidates are entitled to propose according to customary law, as a candidate;

(ii)    he is unanimously proposed as a candidate by the members of the ruling house or    the persons entitled to nominate candidates.

The learned trial Judge then considered the manner in which a ruling house should nominate or propose a candidate to fill a vacancy in a chieftaincy. He stated as follows –

The main question to consider therefore is the voting that took place at that meeting (of the Agaigi Ruling House) and its effect. The Law was silent as to the voting or non-voting. One could, in my opinion, take any view favourable to him (as both counsel have done) depending, of course on the circumstances of each case. I held the view in suit No. H.C.S./33/80 Mrs. Juliana Sokoya & Ors. v. Emmanuel Oyesanya & Ors. (unreported) that the best way to know the wishes of the family is by voting which is a worldwide accepted procedure of either eliminating or reducing (sic) unwanted candidate or candidates for official positions be it in a club or association, local, state or national elections. The reason why I held the view in that case was because it was clear that the family wanted to nominate only one candidate for the consideration of the kingmakers in accordance with section 14(1) (b) (ii) of the Chiefs Law; if I had found the position to be contrary voting would have been unnecessary. Even in that case there was an element of fraud. But, in a situation where it is free for all as in this case, and there are many contestants from different sections of the family, voting would be unnecessary. ............. Voting in this case was a futile exercise. In fact I consider the first voting on the four names as a mere camouflage because none of them was dropped. It appeared to me to be a design to achieve a particular goal. (Italics mine)

The learned trial Judge went on to reject the contents of the certificate of nomination (exhibit "C") which the Agaigi Ruling House sent inter alia to the kingmaker. He said -

It is therefore finally clear to me that exhibit "C" did not represent the true position as recorded in exhibit "B" (the observation of P.W.1 at the meeting of Agaigi Ruling House produced in writing) and "G". (official minutes of the meeting held by Agaigi Ruling House written by the 2nd Respondent). On the contrary exhibits "R" (observation of P.W. 1 at the meeting of the kingmakers made in writing) and exhibit "S" (official minutes of the meeting of the kingmakers) represent the true account of what transpired at the kingmakers' meeting of 17/3/81 ............................. On the above findings, I hold that the kingmakers had made valid appointment in the manner stipulated by the Law. (Parenthesis mine)

Consequently, the learned trial Judge refused to grant the declaration and the prayer for injunction sought by the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Respondents. He then dismissed the action.

Not satisfied with the decision of the High Court, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Respondents appealed against it to the Court of Appeal. The decision of the learned trial Judge was reversed by the Court of Appeal which held that the learned trial Judge was wrong in holding that voting at the meeting held by the Agaigi Ruling House was a futile exercise and that the view held by the learned trial Judge in the unreported case of Mrs. Sokoya & Ors. V. Emmanuel Oyesanya & Ors., (supra) was the better view. The Court of Appeal (per Ogundare, J.C.A.) went on to consider the provisions of clause V of the Declaration of the Customary Law (exhibit "P" )regulating the selection of the Olofin of Ilisan chieftaincy. The clause reads –

(v)   The method of nomination by each ruling house is as follows:

The ruling house whose turn it is to provide a candidate shall nominate at a family meeting to be summoned by the family head, a candidate for the chieftaincy to be presented by the family to the kingmakers.

The Court of Appeal stated as follows:

How is the ruling house to express its decision as to who is or are nominated? The answer to this question, in my view, is to be found in the provisions of section 52(a) of the Interpretation Law Cap. 51, Laws of Western Nigeria 1959 applicable to the interpretation of the Chiefs Law of Western Nigeria - the relevant Law at the time of the events leading to these proceedings (but now see section 53(a) of the Interpretation Law, Cap. 50 Laws of Ogun State, 1978 to which counsel's attention was drawn by the Court and which is, word for word, the same as section 52(a) of the Interpretation Law of Western Nigeria). Section 52(a) provides:

Save as may be otherwise expressly provided by any written law -

(a)     Whenever any act or thing is by any written law required to be done, or any decision taken by a body of persons consisting of no less than three, such act or thing may be done, or such decision taken, in the name of that body by a majority of those persons; .....................

Section 52(a) is clear and unambiguous and has to be given its natural interpretation. Applying it now to the matter on hand, the Agaigi ruling house is a body of persons consisting of not less than three and the act of nomination required of it to be done can only be done in the name of the ruling house by a majority of its members. And the only way to determine a majority of its members is to take note of those members present at the family meeting called for the purpose of nominating candidate or candidates. This was what the Agaigi ruling house did non 25/2/81 and as it is not in dispute that only four candidates had majority support, only these four are the persons validly nominated by the Agaigi ruling house. The 1st Defendant did not have majority support, he was therefore, not duly nominated by the ruling house even though proposed. ......................................

In view of the conclusion I have just reached, it must necessarily follow that the kingmakers could not, in law, consider the 1st Defendant for appointment." (Italics mine)

The Court of Appeal considered further the provisions of section 11(1)(b) and (e) of the Chiefs Law, Cap. 19, Laws of Western Nigeria, 1959, (which is in pari materia with section 15(1)(b) and (e) of the Chiefs Law, Cap. 20, Laws of Ogun State, 1978) and came to the following conclusion -

As the kingmakers have no power to consider for appointment any person not nominated by the ruling house, it follows that the appointment of the 1st Defendant by them is null and void and of no effect.

It consequently, reversed the decision of the High Court by allowing the appeal before it and granting the declaration and order of injunction sought by the 1st to 4th Respondents. Upon this, the appellants appealed to this Court.

The 1st appellant is represented by Chief Williams, S.A.N., while the rest of the appellants 2nd to 13th are represented by Professor Kasunmu, S.A N. In effect there are two appeals, namely by the 1st appellant and the other appellants respectively. In his brief the 1st appellant formulated the following issues for determination

(i)     Whether the plaintiffs have locus standi to maintain this action.

(ii)    Whether the court below was correct in holding that on proper    interpretation of the provisions of the Chiefs Law, a Ruling House Family can only put forward a candidate by voting."

The 2nd to 13th appellants in turn formulated three issues for determination. These are

(a)    Whether the Court of Appeal was right in its interpretation of the provisions of  the Chiefs Law and the Declaration when it came to the decision that the 1st defendant was not a nominated candidate for appointment by the kingmakers as the Olofin of Ilisan.

(b)    Was the Court of Appeal right in validating the appointment of the 1st Defendant on the ground that the kingmakers consulted the Ifa Oracle and also because the decision to appoint the 1st Defendant was put to a vote by the kingmakers?

(c)     Have the plaintiffs the locus standi to prosecute this action?

It will be observed from the foregoing that issue no (i) formulated by the 1st appellant and issue (c) formulated by the other appellants are the same. I, therefore, propose to consider together those issues first. Arguing both in his brief and orally, Chief Williams submitted, relying on the decision in Oloriode V. Oyebi, [1984J I S.C.N.L.R. 390 at pp.401, 406 and 407, that although the point on locus standi was not raised in the courts below, it can be taken in this Court. He argued that a plaintiff suing on behalf of a ruling house has no locus standi to maintain an action instituted to challenge the validity of the appointment of a candidate to a chieftaincy title; and cited in support of the argument the case of Momoh V. Olotu (1970)1 All N.L.R. 117 at p.123, where Ademola, C.J.N., made the following observation -

Now, what is the averment in paragraph 1 (of the statement of claim)? The plaintiff says that he is a member of the Olukare family. The question may be asked, is it enough for the plaintiff to state that he is a member of the family? Surely, not every member of a chieftaincy family as such has interest in the chieftaincy title. We are of the view that it is not enough for the plaintiff to state that he is a member of the family; he has to state further that he has an interest in the chieftaincy title, and furthermore, state in his statement of claim how his interest in the chieftaincy title arose. It is difficult to say on the pleadings filed that the plaintiff has any locus in the matter. (Parenthesis and italics mine)

Chief Williams relied further on the decision in Thomas V. Olufosoye (1986) 1 N.W.L.R. (Pt. 18) 669 at p. 685para. F to p. 688 para. B per Obaseki,J.S.C. He stated that in the case on hand the plaintiffs (1st to 4th Respondents) sued on behalf of the Agaigi Ruling House and argued that only candidate nominated by the ruling house can sue since on the authority of Momoh's case (supra) the entire ruling house cannot sue.

Professor Kasunmu, adopted the argument advanced by Chief Williams on the issue of locus standi. Mrs. Y.A. Kuforiji, learned Senior State Counsel who appeared for the 5th and 6th Respondents did not advert to the point in either the Respondents' brief of argument or her oral argument since she merely adopted the 5th and 6th Respondents' brief.

In reply, Mr. Sofola, S.A.N.,for the 1st to 4th Respondents canvassed both orally and in the Respondents' brief of argument that the issue of locus standi does not arise in this case because the plaintiffs (1st to 4th Respondents) brought the action for themselves and on behalf of the Agaigi Ruling House. Therefore, unless it is argued that the whole of Agaigi Ruling House has no locus to bring the action the argument of the appellants cannot succeed. He argued that the relevant Rules of court make provision for one or more persons to sue on behalf of numerous persons who have the same interest in a cause or matter and that no leave of the trial court is necessary before an action in representative capacity can be brought. Learned Senior Advocate submitted that the case of Momoh V. Olotu (sup ra) was not a representative action and therefore the decision therein cannot apply to the present case which is a representative action. He argued in the alternative that even if the present action was not shown in the writ to have been brought in a representative capacity, the appellants cannot reply on that procedural defect since on the authority of the decision in Divisional Chief Gbolulu of Vakpo V. Head Chief of Anfoego Akukome 7 W.A. C.A. 165 the defect can be cured by this Court once it is clear, as indeed it is,on the evidence that the plaintiffs brought the action on behalf of themselves and other members of their family.

I am satisfied that the argument advanced by Mr. Sofola is well grounded and tenable. Order 8 rule 9 of the High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules Cap. 44, Laws of Ogun State, 1978 which is applicable here provides -

where there are numerous persons having the same interest in one cause or matter, one or more such persons may sue or be sued, or may be authorised by the Court or a Judge to defend in such cause or matter, on behalf or for the benefit of all persons so interested.

Now, it is clear that to bring a representative action under Order 8 rule 9, it is essential that the representative in the action must have the same interest as the persons that he claims to represent. If the interest as well as the grievance are common, a representative action would be in order, provided that the relief sought in the action is in its nature beneficial to those whom the plaintiff represents. The question therefore is: have the plaintiffs in this case common interest with the members of the Agaigi Ruling House which they represent? In my opinion the answer will be found in paragraphs 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12 and 20 of the Amended Statement of Claim filed by the plaintiffs. The said paragraphs read -

1.     The plaintiffs are accredited representatives and members of Agaigi Ruling House of Ilisan-Remo and they all reside at Ilisan-Remo.

6.      Following the demise of Oba Onasoga, the late Olofin of IlisanRemo, the Secretary of  Ijebu Remo Local Government sent Notice to Agaigi Ruling House to nominate candidate or candidates

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