Law News
UNESCO centre: Soyinka, Oyinlola suit for hearing Oct 12

A case between the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding and the Attorney-General of Osun State will come up for hearing before the Federal High Court, Osogbo on October 12, 2015.

This is contained in a hearing notice issued by the registrar of the court and dated September 15, 2015.

A photocopy of the hearing notice, signed and stamped by the same registrar, was made available to our correspondent in Osogbo on Sunday.

The case with suit no FHC/OS/CS/3/2013 has the Attorney General of Osun State as the first defendant while the CBCIU and others are the plaintiffs.

The notice read, “This cause will be transferred from the general cause list to the hearing paper for the 12th day of October 2015 at and will come on to be heard on that day if the business of the court permits or otherwise on some adjournment day of which you will receive no further notice.

“If either party desires to postpone the hearing he must apply to the court as soon as possible for that purpose, and if the application is based on any matter of fact, he must be prepared to give proof of those facts.”

The chairmanship of the Board of Trustees of the CBCIU has sparked a bitter war of words between former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka.

Oyinlola, who was the governor of Osun State at the time the centre was established, was the chairman of the board. But Governor Rauf Aregbesola, who took over from Oyinlola after the judgment of the Court of Appeal of November 26, 2010, appointed Soyinka as the chairman of another board of the centre.

Soyinka recently accused the former governor of carrying out illegally as the chairman of the board of the UNESCO-affiliated centre but Oyinlola, who showed documents which authorised him to be the permanent chairman of the board, countered this.

Oyinlola noted that Aregbesola, who appointed Soyinka as the board chairman, had eventually discovered the true status of the centre and had even initiated a process to normalise the situation.

The former governor said on September 10 at a press conference at his residence in Okuku, Osun State, that the Federal High Court, Osogbo refused Soyinka the right to take over the case initiated by the CBCIU in 2013.

Oyinlola said, “What is the status of the centre’s board today? Prof. Soyinka’s ‘board’ tested this in court in 2013 when it sought to take over a case instituted by us. And what did Soyinka get from that move? The Federal High Court, Osogbo in a ruling on October 10, 2013 (appeal on which was struck out by the Court of Appeal, Akure on 26 February, 2015), decided as follows:

“It is not in doubt that the first plaintiff, ‘ Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding,’ a UNESCO affiliated institution was established in Osogbo, Osun state through the Osun State House of Assembly which passed the law in that behalf which was signed into law on 29th December, 2008.

“Thereafter, it was registered under Part C of the Companies And Allied Matters Act vide a certificate of Incorporation dated23rd July, 2009. As this case is still at its preliminary stage, I will refrain from making comments that may have the effect of determining the substantive suit one way or another.

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