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.
The letter marked HAGF/OYO/2020/Vol.I/I. was entitled, “Unconstitutionality of dissolution of elected local government councils and appointment of caretaker committee: the urgent need for compliance with extant judicial decisions”.
Justice Abubakar Malami 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”.
When Vanguard called the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr Taiwo Adisa, he said he had not seen the letter and when he saw it, he would know the appropriate response.
The letter reads further; “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, 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”.
Copies of the letter were sent to the IGP, DG, DSS, The Ag. Chairman of EFCC and 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”.
The local government executive was sacked by the governor and a new one put in place some months ago.