Home SOCIETY GIST LOCAL NEWS OYO STATE ALGON SALUTES SUPREME COURT OVER LANDMARK JUDGEMENT ON LOCAL COUNCILS DISSOLUTION

OYO STATE ALGON SALUTES SUPREME COURT OVER LANDMARK JUDGEMENT ON LOCAL COUNCILS DISSOLUTION

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The Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Oyo State chapter has commended the Supreme Court of Nigeria for it’s landmark judgement that declared as illegal the dissolution of Local Government councils in Oyo State by Governor Seyi Makinde.

In a press statement by the Oyo State chapter chairman, Prince Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye; he said “we sincerely congratulate the eminent jurists of the Supreme Court of Nigeria for this landmark unprecedented judgement procured to save local government administration and grassroots democracy from executive dictatorship and lawlessness in Oyo state. It took courage, legal erudition and conscientious minds to deliver such unambiguous historic judgement.”

FULL TEXT OF THE PRESS RELEASE 

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ALGON OYO STATE

Preliminary Response to the Supreme Court Judgement.

“This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s..”

1. Today, May 7, 2021, the Supreme Court of Nigeria delivered a landmark judgement in Abuja against the gubernatorial lawlessness and illegal dissolution of elected local government council by Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde. After scolding the governor and his government for flouting the constitution with impunity, the erudite judges gave a major four point judgement against Oyo state government as follows:

*ALGON Oyo State won the appeal at the Supreme Court in a unanimous landslide judgment.

* Supreme Court fined Oyo State government with a sum of N20 million for perpetrating illegality/impunity

* All dissolved council chairmen and councillors to receive their full salaries and allowances up till March 2022
This has never happened before, it was only salaries that were paid in Ekiti and Delta cases.

* Attorney General of Oyo State was given till August 7, 2021 to ensure the state government’s compliance. (Setting a deadline of payment)

2. It pleased their Lordships to monetize our restoration to physically occupy our offices, but to be paid fully our salaries and allowances till March 2022.
We accept this condition but with sympathy to our dear pacesetter state which financial resources are now put in jeopardy because of the executive rascality of the governor who will now pay us and continue to pay the illegal caretaker contraption he unleashed on local government councils. It’s a case of paying two sets of workers for the same position. This is how the state resources are being wasted under this government to fund impunity, lawlessness, political thuggery and white elephant projects when social infrastructure are in serious deficit.
We would have loved their Lordships to order the governor to pay us from his personal and business accounts for his lawlessness, arrogance of power and impunity notwithstanding his immunity. Now our state will bear the financial brunt of the governor’s executive rascality. We wish to appeal to the courts to make future law breakers who are conscious of the illegality of their actions while in official position to be personally liable also, this will teach many wayward anti-local government autonomy and democracy power drunk governors a big lesson.

3. We sincerely congratulate the eminent jurists of the Supreme Court of Nigeria for this landmark unprecedented judgement procured to save local government administration and grassroots democracy from executive dictatorship and lawlessness in Oyo state. It took courage, legal erudition and conscientious minds to deliver such unambiguous historic judgement. We fully appreciate Your Lordships for the judgment which further reaffirms your precedent judgments and reinforces our belief in the nation’s judicial system. Thank you, Your Lordships.

4. From the outset of this avoidable and unnecessary lengthy legal and political battle to regain the constitutional right and democratic status of local government council as established under Section 7 of the Nigerian constitution (as amended), we of the ALGON made it very clear that the battle was not for personal gains of the democratically elected local government chairmen and councilors but for the soul of democracy, rule of law. It’s for the benefits of our people at the grassroots who rely mainly on local government for good governance as the third tier of government nearest to them. The government they can see, feel and enjoy.

5. Our motivation to engage in this protracted legal and political battle was based on multi-perspective reasons and convictions.

One, we believed that it’s only in the jungle of riotous animals not in any civilised democratic human community governed by rule of law would a newly elected governor pronounced with military fiat the illegal sack of elected local government chairmen and councilors he met in place and in less than 24 hours he was sworn in as governor and he would go away freely with such illegality.

Secondly, the governor’s illegal dissolution of elected local government runs foul of Section 7 of the 1999 Constition and it undermined the precedent judgements of the Supreme Court on similar matter in other states which stated unambiguously that no one including a state governor and State House of Assembly has the power to dissolve elected local government council. So, it became a puzzle to all discerming Nigerians how Gov. Makinde suddenly became so powerful and had the confidence that the Supreme Court would kowtow to his illegal power of life and death of local government and the court would reverse its remarkable precedent judgment.

Thirdly, we were convinced legally and morally that our fight is right in all ramifications and backed with legal opinions from our erudite, objective and courageous legal team.
We were more convinced that our course was right with the massive support and prayers daily received from the grassroots we represent and who continued to urge us on to help them recover their mandate they freely gave to us because they have been left to suffer from the shadow of governance in the local government. We couldn’t have abandoned them no matter how powerless and voiceless the governor made them to look because of his illegal dissolution of their elected government.

6. Now that this battle has come to an end in the court room while awaiting the judgment execution, and judicial victory has been won at the highest court of the land, we have put the dark part behind us as we look forward to being paid fully all our salaries and allowances till March 2022 as directed by the highest court in the land.

7. Our full appreciation goes to all conscientious citizens of Oyo State, our revered traditional rulers, the ever conscious and objective progressive media, our political party, APC and leaders. We put on record the legal sagacity and courage of our ingenious lawyers whose legal opinions had also been our strength in the two years of tough legal battle.
Truly, the tougher the battle, the sweeter the victory. To all we are very grateful and we hope this will serve as a lesson to all governors to respect the constitution and allow local government to be and enjoy its constitutionally given democratic status and autonomy
Thank you all, to God be all the glory.

Prince Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye, MDII
ALGON CHAIRMAN
Oyo State

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