Thursday, June 1, 2023

Court stops sacked LG bosses from resuming

The Oyo State Government on Tuesday secured an injunction restraining the sacked council chairmen in the 33 local government areas and 35 local council development areas from forceful takeover of the council secretariats in the state.

But the embattled chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria in Oyo State, Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye, said the sacked members of ALGON in the state would continue to perform their official duties.

The order restraining the sacked council chairmen from parading themselves as council bosses was granted by the Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan, the state capital.

Justice Moshud A. A. Abbas granted the four prayers sought by the lead counsel for Oyo State Government, Dr Akin Onigbinde (SAN), including an interim injunction restraining the sacked chairmen from forcefully taking over the councils.

The interim orders were granted following an ex parte motion filed by the state government in Suit No. I/78/2020.

Also restrained were the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN); the Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu; the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State Command, Sina Olukolu, and the state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Akin Oke.

The respondents and their agents were restrained from taking any step that could tamper with the pending matters before the Court of Appeal.

The court restrained the sacked chairmen, as well as the four other defendants, “their officers, agents, privies or otherwise from taking steps that could cause breach of the peace by embarking on self-help to give effect to a letter dated January 14 with Reference Number HAGF//2020/VOL.I/1, issued by the Attorney General of the Federation to the sacked chairmen and the Inspector-General of Police pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

However, Abass-Alesinloye, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, said no amount of intimidation would make them to rescind their decision to return to office.

He said, “The injunction that the state government is parading is a kangaroo injunction. They went to a state high court; they did not obtain the order from the Federal High Court. I don’t know why they are just behaving so illegally.

“Of course, all of us (the sacked chairmen), have access to our offices; we have been in our offices since yesterday. Throughout Oyo State we carried out our duties without hindrance, except in the Ibadan North and North-East. Those at the Egbeda Local Government Area were accosted on their way from the council secretariat.”

Meanwhile, the APC in a statement on Tuesday claimed that the court reinstated the sacked chairmen, saying such was a manifestation of constitutional democracy.

The state APC Assistant Publicity Secretary, Prince Ayobami Adejumo, added that the sacked chairmen in the state, had taken over their various councils and the development must be accepted by stakeholders in the state, as well as Governor Seyi Makinde and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.

He said, “As normalcy is gradually returning to all the 33 LGAs and 35 LCDAs with the return of validly elected officials to their respective offices, we urge the state government to desist from further action capable of putting the Pacesetter State in the news for negative reasons.”

The statement appealed for calm and called for dialogue in the interest of peace and order in the state.

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