The All Progressives Congress in Oyo state has lamented the alleged plans by the administration of Governor Seyi Makinde to sabotage the Judiciary arm of government by making sure that no stone is left unturned to frustrate the courts and Judicial officials from discharging their duties as specified in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
APC’s lamentation came against the backdrop of the recent brick wall reportedly met by the party in its attempts to stop the May 22, 2021 local government council election in the state through the court following its alleged wrongful exclusion from the poll.
In a statement issued on Monday and personally signed by its State Caretaker Chairman, Chief Akin Oke, Oyo APC accused Gov. Makinde of executive lawlessness, dangerous politicking and moral indecency particularly as it concerns “his culpability in the total shut down of courts so that no aggrieved parties would be able to get justice on account of the many foul conduct perpetrated by him and his party (PDP) before, during and after the sham called council election notwithstanding the fact that prospective litigants have a specific time frame to exercise their rights.
“Apart from the fact that Gov. Makinde has been found to be among the caucus of state governors who do not want autonomy for the Judiciary and local government tier in the country, we have established the fact that he is surreptitously doing everything to ensure that the current industrial action embarked upon by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) continue for as long as possible for his own selfish reasons.
“Our experience of May 20 was better imagined as it played out that a governor could use foul means to stop an opposition party from filing a case against him and his party in a democracy. For the record, it was Judiciary staff that embarked on industrial action and not Judges and lawyers. So, we sought and got a legitimate avenue to file a case before the relevant court on the fateful but Gov. Makinde furtively mobilized some hoodlums to the premises of the State High Court at Ring Road, Ibadan and decorated them as JUSUN members.
“These political thugs, drawn from a section of commercial drivers union in charge of his illegal Park Management System (PMS), harrased and chased away our team of lawyers who had visited the court to do their lawful business. The thugs remained in the court arena until the dead of the night on that Thursday and as if this was not enough, Gov. Makinde declared a public holiday for an election which had been made a PDP versus PDP affair even before it was conducted. These steps were taken in order ensure that time available for us to seek legal redress was wasted.
“More frustrating now is the deliberate incapacitation of the Chief Justice of the State to constitute and inaugurate Election Petition Tribunal for the purpose of entertaining litigation which might arise from the said May 22 council poll. Gov. Makinde has not deemed it necessary to release required fund to the relevant officials and institutions simply because he must act to help his people imposed as chairmen and councillors hold on to their pyrrhic victory for as long as possible.
“For Gov. Makinde, the next thing after successfully reducing the Legislative arm to a mere puppet was to incapacitate the Judiciary and then make himself a civilian autocrat in a constitutional democracy. However, it is pertinent to draw the attention of the striking workers to review their action and consider the fact those responsible for their agitation are turning out to be beneficiaries of their protests. We implore them to resume duties and re-strategize so that they don’t deny the common man the justice deserved in the face of Executive recklessness.
“It is also imperative for all relevant stakeholders including eminent traditional and religious leaders, members of the Bar and Bench, Civil Society Organizations, Human Rights activists among others to rise up to the challenge and ensure that the good people of Oyo state do not also suffer total breakdown of democratic institutions in the hand of the PDP government which had already subjected them to frustration and disappointment in the areas of good governance and quality service delivery.” Oyo APC stated.