•It Is An Invitation To Anarchy – AC
DESPITE the Court of Appeal’s judgment on Thursday that disbanded all the local government council chairmen and councillors in Osun State from office, the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP)-led government in the state has once again demonstrated its usual illegality, as it has ordered the ousted chairmen to remain in their various council offices and shun the court order.
The state vice chairman of the party, Mr. Ojo Williams and Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Mr. Niyi Owolade, admitted that the appellate court had ordered another local council election, but stated that the status quo would remain in the administration of the councils regardless of the Court of Appeal’s judgment.
According to Williams and Owolade, no chairman or councillor should absent himself from office as a result of the judgment, adding that they would approach the Supreme Court to appeal against the judgment. All the 30 local government councils in the state are headed by PDP chairmen and councillors.
They all claimed to have filed an appeal suit against the judgment of Justice Istifanus Thomas-led appeal panel in Ibadan, Oyo State capital at the Supreme Court.
Specifically, the PDP deputy chairman in the state, on the state-owned broadcasting stations, Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) radio and television stated that the party would not abide by the judgment of the appellate court but rather proceed to the Supreme Court.
He maintained that the status quo would remain in each council in the state pending the decision of the nation’s highest court.
Besides, the embattled governor of the state, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, had reportedly directed all the councils’ chairmen not to leave their offices, even if the Court of Appeal sacks them.
According to a press statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to Oyinlola, Mr. Lasisi Olagunju, Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSSIEC) had filed a motion for stay of execution of the judgment, pending the final determination of the case by the Supreme Court.
The statement maintained that nothing has changed in the 30 local government councils in the state and that the PDP council chairmen should remain in their various offices.
Investigations by the medium revealed that all the council chairmen had defiled the court judgment as they all resumed for duty last Friday.
However, a statement signed by Mr. Gbenga Fayemiwo, the AC gubernatorial candidate, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola’s media aide decried the decision of the state government not to obey the appellate court’s verdict.
In the statement, Fayemiwo questioned how the OSSIEC and the state government could file an appeal’ when the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the verdict has not been made available to the public, saying that the decision of the controversial state government could eventually lead to anarchy.
Fayemiwo said: “The Olagunsoye Oyinlola-led administration in Osun State has shown itself to be aversed to the rule of law and justice.
“It lied blatantly on the state radio that an appeal to the judgment had been filed.How can you file an appeal when the CTC of a judgment is yet to be made available? With what did the OSSIEC file the appeal?
Meanwhile, the state is yet to have another board for the OSSIEC, as the retired Justice Adedotun Sijuwade-led OSSIEC that conducted the controversial December 15, 2007 Local Government Council election had been disbanded after the expiration of its tenure.
The state House of Assembly has also rejected the re-nomination of the former board members of the OSSIEC for the second term by the state governor.
By ISMAIL USMAN