THE OGUN CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL – A BRIEF PROFILE
Section 6 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as Amended, established the Judicature, comprising of Courts established for the Federation and the States of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Specifically, Section 6 (5) of the Constitution, enumerates the Courts to which that section relates, all of which shall have ‘all the powers of a superior court of record’. One of those courts is the Customary Court of Appeal of a State. The Ogun State House of Assembly (The Seventh Legislature) passed into law, the Ogun State Customary Court of Appeal Law 2011, which was assented to by the Governor, His Excellency Senator Ibikunle Amosun FCA, on 5th September 2011.
With the approval of the Governor of Ogun State Prince (Dr) Dapo Abiodun MFR, the Ogun State Customary Court of Appeal was formally constituted by the administration of Honourable Justice M. A. Dipeolu FICMC, Chief Judge of Ogun State, on 8th January 2020, with the swearing-in of the Honourable President and Judges of the Court.
On the jurisdiction of the Customary Court of Appeal, Section 282 (1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended provide:
(1) “A Customary Court of Appeal of a State shall exercise appellate and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings involving questions of customary law.
(2) For the purposes of this section, a Customary Court of Appeal of a State shall exercise such jurisdiction and decide such questions as may be prescribed by the House of Assembly of the State for which it is established.”
Pursuant to the above provisions, the Ogun State Customary Court of Appeal Law 2011 provides in Sections 48(1) and 53(1) thus:
“Subject as otherwise provided in this Law, the Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine civil appeals from Customary Courts in the State.”Section 53(1):
“The Court shall have all the jurisdiction ………………
The Law in Section 38(2) also confers original jurisdiction on the Court in certain limited matters involving a Local Government Council or any of its agencies, subject to the provisions of the Constitution and Acts of the National Assembly.
Accordingly, the Ogun State Customary Court of Appeal exercises appellate and supervisory jurisdiction over Customary Courts in cases involving land, marriage, inheritance, guardianship and custody of children, as well as in prerogative orders. The CCA is constituted by a Hon. President and Judges whose brief personal resumes are stated hereunder.
HONOURABLE JUSTICE MOBOLAJI AYODELE OJO – HON. PRESIDENT, OGUN STATE CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL
Hon. Justice Mobolaji Ojo attended the University of Lagos from where he obtained his LL.B (Hons) Degree and later a Master of Laws (LL.M) Degree. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1984. Hon. Justice Ojo was in private practice until he was elevated to the High Court Bench in October 2000. His Lordship served meritoriously in several Judicial Divisions of the High Court of Ogun State, namely, Ijebu-Ode, Ijebu-Igbo, Ota and Abeokuta, before he was appointed as the pioneer President of the Ogun State Customary Court of Appeal on 8th January, 2020. His appointment remains a vote of confidence in the competence and ability of Hon. Justice M. A. Ojo to steer the ship of the new Court and position it for the future.
HON. JUSTICE ADEBISI OLUSOLA FEMI-SEGUN, HONOURABLE JUDGE, OGUN STATE CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL
Hon. Justice Femi-Segun was born on 17th February, 1961 to Chief David Adeyemi Coker (Ogboye of Ilaro) and late Deaconess Mrs. Lucian Adetoro Coker (Nee Ibikunle). She attended Yejide Girls Grammar School, Ibadan between 1972 and 1976 where she obtained her Secondary School Certificate. She then proceeded to Abeokuta Grammar School for her A/Levels.
His Lordship bagged her Law degree from the prestigious University of Ife, Ile-Ife in 1987, and was called to the Nigeria Bar in 1988. Her legal career started at the Federal Ministry of Justice where she served as a Senior State Counsel, Department of Public Prosecution between 1989 and 1995. She also was an Assistant Legal Adviser on secondment to the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.
His Lordship joined the Lagos State Judiciary in 1996 as Magistrate Grade I and rose through the ranks to the position of Chief Magistrate 1. Until her appointment, Hon. Justice Femi-Segun was the Deputy Chief Registrar (Admin) Lagos Judicial Division, High Court of Lagos State.
His Lordship is a devout Christian and an ordained Deaconess of House on the Rock Church, Lekki. She was married to Late Olufemi Enitan Segun, a former diplomat and polyglot. They were blessed with a daughter. Hon. Justice Femi-Segun was appointed into the Ogun State Customary Court of Appeal on 8th January, 2020.
HONOURABLE JUSTICE ANTHONY OLUSESAN ARABA, HONOURABLE JUDGE, OGUN STATE CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL
Hon. Justice A. O. Araba was born on 5th November, 1968 at Ibadan, Oyo State. His primary school education commenced at Army Children School, Dodan Barracks, Lagos; after which he proceeded to Ijebu-Ode Grammar School, Ijebu-Ode for his Secondary Education. He later attended Federal School of Arts and Science, Victoria Island, Lagos for his Higher School Certificate and thereafter gained admission into the former Ogun State University (now Olabisi Onabanjo University), Ago-Iwoye to study Law. After his LL.B, he proceeded to the Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island, Lagos and was called to the Nigerian Bar in December, 1993. His Lordship observed his mandatory National Youth Service in Lagos at the Law Firm of Oditah, Adebiyi & Co., Lagos Island where he worked for three years before moving on to the Law Firm of Ajuji, Waziri & Co., also on Lagos Island.
Hon. Justice Araba was appointed a Magistrate Grade 1 in the Ogun State Judiciary in June 1999. He rose through the ranks and was appointed Deputy Chief Registrar 1 in 2015, a position he held until January 2020, when he was sworn in as a Judge of the Ogun State Customary Court of Appeal on 8th January, 2020. He is a devout Christian, married and blessed with lovely children.
The Ogun State Customary Court of Appeal is located at the Ogun State Judiciary Annex at Isabo, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
HONOURABLE JUSTICE PHILIP OLUWASINA AKINSINDE, HONOURABLE JUDGE, OGUN STATE CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL
Hon Justice Philip Oluwasina Akinsinde was born on the 8th of June, 1962 to Late Pa Reuben Aremu Akinside and Madam Olufolake Akinside of Akinside Town, Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State. His Lordship attended Baptist Primary School, Idikan, Ibadan between 1969 and 1974. He had his secondary education at the Baptist Boys High School, Saje, Abeokuta between 1974 and 1978. After working briefly at the Nigerian Cocoa Board, Cocoa House, Ibadan as a clerical officer , he proceeded to Ogun State Polytechnic [ Mashood Abiola Polytechnic} and obtained a Diploma in Architecture in 1983; His Lordship thereafter obtained a Degree in Law with honours, from the University Ife in 1989. He was called to the Nigerian Bar on the 12th of December 1990. His Lordship observed the Mandatory NYSC scheme at Ilorin in the chambers of R. A. Ogunwole & co in 1991. Thereafter he started a career as a State Counsel in the employment of the Ogun State Civil Service under the Ministry of Justice. He rose through the ranks to become the Director of Civil Litigations and Advisory Services until his elevation to the Bench as Judge of the Customary Court of Appeal, Ogun State on the 21st of December 2021.
HONOURABLE JUSTICE OLUKEMI FOLASADE OSISANYA, HONOURABLE JUDGE, OGUN STATE CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL
Hon. Justice Olukemi Folasade Osisanya was born on the 22nd of December 1962 to Late Chief Edward Vincent Oladipo Koleoso and Mrs Ibironke Koleoso in Ibadan. She hails from Orile – Imo, in Obafemi Owode Local Government of Ogun State. She had her primary education at Sacred Heart Primary School, Inalende, Ibadan between 1967 and 1973 and her secondary education at St Louis Grammar School, Mokola, Ibadan between 1973 and 1978. She obtained a higher Certificate from Federal Government Girls College, Ilaro now Sagamu. His Lordship obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Ife now Obafemi Awolowo University in 1984. She obtained a degree in Law in 1989 from Ogun State University now Olabisi Onabanjo University and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1990. She is an Associate Member of the Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators and also an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators. As a corps Member, His Lordship Served at Emmanuel College Secondary School, Samonda, Ibadan, Oyo State between 1984 and 1985. She worked as Company/ Legal Secretary at Vanguard Security company between 1991 and 1993 and also Lawnson Thomas and Colleagues between 1993 and 1995. She joined the Chambers of Oloruntoba Mamora & Co, Ijebu Ode in 1996 and served as Counsel till 1999. His Lordship set up her practice and was the Principal Partner of Kemi Osisanya & Co, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State until her elevation as Judge of the Customary Court of Appeal, Ogun State on the 21st of December 2021. Her scope of practice included but is not limited to Civil Litigations, Criminal Litigations, Matrimonial Causes, Corporate Law, Arbitration and Mediation.
HONOURABLE JUSTICE IDOWU ADEBIYI ODUGBESAN, HONOURABLE JUDGE, OGUN STATE CUSTOMARY COURT OF APPEAL
Hon. Justice Idowu Adebiyi Odugbesan was born on the 5th of August 1965 to the family of Mr. Adewunmi and Mrs. Bernice Odugbesan. He started his educational career at Sagun United Primary School, Oru Ijebu in 1971 and proceeded to Obanta Comprehensive High School, Awa Ijebu for his secondary education. He obtained his ‘A’ Levels at Federal School of Arts and Science, Ondo, Ondo State. He proceeded to University of Lagos where he bagged his Bachelor of Laws Degree in 1990 and was called to the Bar in 1991. He observed the Mandatory Service Year as counsel in the chambers of G.O.H. Ariaga & Co, Omoku, Rivers State between 1991 and 1992. Afterwards, His Lordship joined the law firm of Adebisi Dawodu & Co, Ijebui Ode in 1992 from whence he established Adebiyi Odugbesan & Co, ijebu Ode where he worked as the Principal Partner until his Elevation to the Bench of the Customary Court of Appeal, Ogun State. He had served at the Nigerian Bar Association, Ijebu Ode branch, in various capacities, as General Secretary, Vice Chairman and Chairman. His Lordship is a devout Christian and Member of the choir in his church. He is the Osi Balogun Ijo of St Lukes Anglican Church, Ijebu Ode until his elevation to the Bench as Judge of the Customary Court of Appeal, Ogun State on the 21st of December 2021. His Lordship is happily married to Susan Taiwo Odugbesan and they are blessed with beautiful children.