My Brother Chairmen,
I want to appeal to everyone to exercise patience and restrain on our comments on the Supreme Court judgement, delivered today, the 7th May, 2021.
This is the best judgement so far on the issue of dissolution of democratically elected Council Chairmen, where new precedents have been laid down to curbing the incessant dissolution of local government administration by the Executive Governors.
Ordinarily, our expectation is to return to Councils to complete our tenure, which unfortunately expires by effluxion of time on the 14th May, 2021. But because of the expiration of our tenure in few days time, the Supreme Court is handicapped to making such order because doing so will amount to rewritten the Oyo State Local Government Laws, which stipulates 3 years tenure for the democratically elected Council Chairmen, Vice Chairmen and Councillors respectively, without envisaging the intervening circumstance, capable of truncating the 3years tenure.
It is on record that the Supreme Court has delivered judgements on dissolution of local government administration by the Executive Governors in States like Ekiti, Bayelsa and other States and comparing the judgements in those States with similar facts with Oyo State’s case, one will see that the Apex Court has improved on their previous judgements and also laid new precedents in our own case.
Let me place on record that the tenure of the Council Chairmen in Ekiti, Bayelsa and others States had expired before the Supreme determined their cases and delivered judgements and they did not make any order as to their reinstatement.
Below are the summary of the pronouncements of the Supreme Court in their previous judgements.
(A) The Supreme Court only ordered for payment of the salaries of the dissolved elected Council Chairmen, Vice Chairmen and Councillors respectively in those States.
(B) The Supreme Court did not make order as to the time frame within which the Governors of those States were to pay the salaries of the affected parties in their States, therefore, leaving the Governors with option to pay or not to pay and in most cases, they did not pay till they left the office, thereby, denying the successful parties the fruits of their success at the Supreme Court.
(C) The Supreme Court did not make order as to the payment of allowances to the Council Official in those States in their previous judgements.
(D) And no huge cost has ever been awarded against any Governor in their previous judgements on the dissolution of local government administration.
However, in our own case, new precedents have been laid down to curbing the incessant dissolution of local government administration by the Executive Governors.
In our own case, Supreme Court Justices, for the 1st time, on issue of dissolution of democratically elected local government administration activated Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act to enable them grant certain reliefs, as if the Court was a court of first instance, to remedy the wrong done to Oyo State ALGON by the Oyo State Governor, which is the best they can do in the circumstance.
The summary of the Supreme Court pronouncements in Oyo State case which distinguished it from their previous judgements are as follows
(1) Oyo State Governor is to pay the salaries and ALL the allowances of Chairmen, Vice Chairmen and Councillors of the 33 LGAs and 35 LCDAs respectively from 29th May, 2019 – 31st March, 2022. This is tactic approval and recognition of LCDAs in Oyo State.
Let me quickly add that the action was instituted by the 33 LGAs and 35 LCDAs respectively and no objection was raised by the Oyo State Government as to the legal status of the LCDAs, from the High Court up to the Supreme Court, therefore, the judgement is in favour of the 33 LGAs and the 35 LCDAs respectively.
(2) The salaries and allowances of the Chairmen, Vice Chairmen and Councillors in all the 33 LGAs and the 33 LCDAs MUST be paid on or before the 7th August, 2021.
(3) The Hon. Attorney General of Oyo State MUST file before the Supreme Court, the affidavit of compliance that the said money and allowances have been paid on or before the 7th August, 2021.
(4) Cost of #20million awarded against the Governor of Oyo State, asides strong condemnation by the Supreme Court of the Governor’s lawless and Executive rascality.
This is Koseleri Judgement and we must appreciate Judiciary for this because this is the best they can do within the armpit of law.
With this judgement, all our Governors will learn how to tolerate the opponents in power at the grassroots.
I congratulate the Oyo State ALGON Chapter for laying a solid foundation to strengthening the 3rd tier of government, not only in Oyo State but in Nigeria as a whole and for been part of historic judgement in Nigeria judicial system.
To all lovers of democracy, this is victory for you all.
D. A Sulayman, Esq
Ogbomoso Central LCDA
2019 – 2021