Abraham Olayinka Okupe V. Soyebo, the Alaperu of Iperu (1937)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Application by private Relator for Quo Warranto to show authority of Appeal fromjudgment ofDefendant—Respondent to exercise the office of Alaperu of Iperu— High Court. Office created by, or held under, the Crown.
Held : The office of Alaperu of Iperu being neither an office created by, nor held under, the Crown Ouo Warranto cannot be exhibited,”and the appeal is dismissed.
There is no’need to set out the facts.
Sir William Geary, Bart., for Relator-Appellant. O. Alakija for Defendant-Respondent.
The following judgment was delivered :—
KINGDON, C.J., NIGERIA.
This is an appeal against a decision of Bartley, Assistant Judge of the High Court of the Protectorate sitting in the Ibadan Division, dismissing an .application by a private relator named Abraham Olayinka Okupe that an information in the nature of Quo Warranto be exhibited against Soyebo to show what authority he claimed to exercise the office of Alaperu of Iperu.
Now the first essential for an information of this nature to lie is that ” the office must be held under the Crown, or have been created by the Crown.” Halsbuiy, second edition, vol. 9, page 805, paragraph 1374. •
It is abundantly clear that the Alaperu of Iperu does not hold an office created by the Crown. The position is one of a minor chief in the Protectorate—not even in a colony—it owes its existence to native custbm and the holder is not even a native authority appointed under the Native Authority Ordinance, 1933 (No. 43 of 1933).
It is equally clear that the Alaperu does not hold an office under the Crown. The first sentence of the first paragraph of the applicant’s own affidavit is sufficient to demonstrate this :-
” The office of Alaperu of Iperu is elective and the electors are the Chiefs and Elders of Iperu Town.”
There is no need to look further than this, and I will only add that I entirely agree with the finding of the learned Judge in the Court below that the position of the Alaperu of Iperu is a mere dignity, a position of honour—based, as that finding is, upon the Judgments of
the Full Court in Adanji v. Hunvoo (1 N.L.R. 75). In that case, it is worth noting, it was common ground that Quo Warrant° did not lie, even the claimant’s counsel admitting ” the essential feature is absent.”
I am of opinion that the decision of the Court below was right and that the appeal should be dismissed.
BUTLER LLOYD, J.
I concur. CAREY, J.