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YOU CANNOT DISSOLVE OYO LG CHAIRMEN – COURT WARNS GOVERNMENT

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The Governor and the Oyo State House of Assembly have been restrained from suspending or removing elected local government chairmen and LCDA chairmen, vice chairmen and their councilors in the state by an Oyo State High Court.

In a ruling delivered by Justice Aderonke Aderemi on Monday, she argued that the tenure of the claimants who are the council chairmen was statutory set at three years with effect from the date of their elections.

She added that dissolving the constitutionally elected council chairmen was in conflict with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999.

In the suit NO: 1/347/19 filed at the state high court in Ibadan, Justice Aderemi averred that that seeking the dissolution of the elected council chairmen by the Governor, Attorney- General of the state, the Commissioner for Local Government, Accountant- General of the state, Speaker of the State House of Assembly and the State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) breached the constitutional provision of Section 7 (1) of the constitution of the country, thereby making the application of the defendants for the dissolution null and void.

While stating that sections 7(a) and 96 of the Local Government Law of the state, Cap 78 Laws of Oyo State 2000, which empowers the governor to dissolve local government areas, violates section 7(1) of the 1999 constitution (as amended), Justice Aderemi, however, argued that the violation of the section of the law made it unconstitutional for the council chairmen to be dissolved before the expiration of their three-year tenure.

She, therefore ruled that any law, order or directive empowering the governor of the state or any person whatsoever to dissolve the local government councils and local council development areas in the state or remove from office any person democratically elected into a local government council and local council development areas in the state whose tenure is yet to expire was in conflict with Section 7 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and thus unconstitutional.

A declaration that by virtue of the combined effect of Section 7 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As amended) and the provisions of Section 16 of the Local Government Law of Oyo State, Cap 78 Laws of Oyo State, 2000, the 1st defendant have no power to dissolve the democratically elected councils of the 33 Local Government Councils Development Areas in Oyo State and/or suspend remove or replace the claimants with appointed caretaker committees before the end of their tenure in breach of the aforesaid constitutional and statutory provisions.

An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1st defendant, his servants, agents, privies or any person whosoever from dissolving the 33 Local Government Councils and 35 Local Council Development Areas in Oyo State or removing, suspending, termination and or doing anything whatever to truncate the tenure of the claimants except in accordance with the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As amended).

An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their servants, agents, privies or any person whosoever from freezing the accounts of the 33 Local Government Councils and 35 Local Council Development Areas in Oyo State or doing anything to truncate the effective administration of the 33 Local Government Councils and 35 Local Council Development Areas of Oyo State.

Justice Aderemi further ruled that: An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their servants, agents, privies or any person whosoever from withholding or diverting the allocations, funds and resources of the 33 Local Government Councils and 35 Local Council Development Areas in Oyo State or doing anything to truncate the effective administration of the 33 Local Government Councils and 35 Local Council Development Areas in Oyo State.

“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 6th defendant, its servants, agents, privies or any person whosoever from conducting election into the office of Chairmen and Councillors of all or any of 33 Local Government Councils and 35 Local Council Development Areas in Oyo State before the expiration of the 3 years term of the claimants due to lapse in May, 2022.”

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