Reverse Sack of Elected Council Chairmen, Says Malami to Makinde - THE NEW DAWN ONLINE

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Reverse Sack of Elected Council Chairmen, Says Malami to Makinde


The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN has directed the Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde to reverse himself over the dissolution of local government administration in the State.

The directive was contained in a letter to the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State, Prof. Oyewo Oyelowo dated 14 January, 2020 with reference HAGF/OYO/2020/Vol.I/I. Entitled;
“Unconstitutionality of dissolution of elected local government councils and appointment of caretaker committee: the urgent need for compliance with extant judicial decisions”, the AGF said in view of the decision of the Supreme Court on the matter that is binding on all 36 States of the Federation, “ the common practice by some State Governors in dissolving elected local government councils is unconstitutional, null and void. So also any system of local government run by Caretaker Committee are outrightly illegal and unconstitutional.

"To this end, I hereby request all their Excellencies, State Governors and Speakers of State House of Assembly, who are currently acting in breach of the provisions of Section 7(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and also acting in disobedience of the Supreme Court judgement highlighted above to immediately retrace their step by ensuring compliance with the above in the overall interest of the rule of law and our democracy.

"The need to immediately disband all caretaker committee and restore democratically elected representatives to man the local governments has therefore become obligatory”.

Malami, quoting relevant sections of the questions as well as decided cases on the matter, also requested the Justice Commissioner to take positive steps to ensure compliance adding that, “Mr President and other relevant agencies will be advised further on compliance measures that should be taken in national interest.

"In view of the final decision of the Apex Court which is binding on all the 36 states of the federation, the common practice by some state government in dissolving elected local government councils is unconstitutional, null and void. So, also, any system of local government run by Caretaker Committee are outright illegal and unconstitutional.

"To this end, I hereby request all their Excellencies, State Governors and Speakers of State House of Assembly, who are currently acting in breach of the provisions of Section 7(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and also acting in disobedience of the Supreme Court judgement highlighted above, to immediately retrace their steps by ensuring compliance with the above in the overall interest of the rule of law and our democracy.

"The need to immediately disband the Caretaker Committees and restore democratically elected representatives to man the local government has therefore become obligatory.

"I hereby requests that you take positive steps to ensure compliance in your state accordingly. In the coming days, Mr President and other relevant agencies will be advised further on compliance measures that should be taken in national interest", Malami's letter reads.

Copies of the letter were sent to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Director General, State Security Services, The Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Director, NFIU.

Reacting to the development, the Chairman of ALGON, Prince Ayodeji Abass – Aleshinloye described the decision as a welcome development as it has confirmed what they had always stood for that it was wrong for constitutionally elected local government chairmen to be so treated.

“We are glad with this latest development. We want to assure the administration that as law abiding citizens, we will work hand in glove with them to ensure even development in Oyo State.
“We also want to thank the people of Oyo State for standing with us and being law abiding for the duration of the period that the issue lingered”.

He said, the sacked council bosses had often times reiterated their willingness to work with the Governor Seyi Makinde led administration irrespective of their party difference, but in the interest of peace and development for the people of the state.

He added that they were however shocked when the Governor sacked them without due process and the eventual appointment of caretaker chairmen for the councils.

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