Supreme Court Ruling: Fresh Legal Battle Looms As Makinde Tells Deposed ALGON To Approach Court Over Who To Be Paid Compensation
By Henry Odeh
Fresh legal battle may yet be looming as Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde has told the deposed LG chairmen led by Prince Abass Aleshinloye to approach a court of competent jurisdiction in order to determine who among them is to be paid with regards to the recent supreme court ruling which ordered the Governor to compensate the deposed ALGON with salaries and allowances accrued while their tenure lasted.
Oyo State Governor, Makinde made this disclosure over the weekend while speaking with a governor’s office correspondent at the Agodi Government House, Ibadan.
He said contrary to the constitutionally recognized 33 local governments, there are additional 35 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), totalling 68.
The Supreme Court had earlier in May in its final ruling over the protracted legal battle between Oyo state government and the deposed ALGON ordered Makinde to pay out outstanding salaries of the said council Chairmen also appeared to favour Makinde by noting that the tenure of the sacked council chairmen and councillors had expired.
“The Constitution of Nigeria recognizes 33 local government areas and 351 wards in Oyo State.
“The previous administration created local development areas and increased the number to 68. We couldn’t work with that, so, we scrapped it and put in place caretaker committees before proper elections were held in the 33 constitutionally recognized local government areas.
“What the Supreme Court invariably said is that it is its policy that governors should not dissolve local government administrations.
“They expected me to approach the court to argue the unconstitutionality of the 35 LCDAs. If I had gone to court, it would have taken this length of time for them to reach a decision by which time they would have served out their tenure.
“They have to go back to court to determine, who among them should be paid. And I doubt if that matter can be decided during my tenure. I may be out of here by that time.”
Speaking over the recently concluded local government election in the state Makinde said the election was a reflection of his choice for the will of the people.
“I deliberately appointed a Senior Advocate of Nigeria as Chairman of the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission, because I know he will be independent-minded.
“I have not even spoken to him after the election. I did not know him before the appointment. People told me it was the first time they are taking part in a local government election. Even my people told me it is not done that way.
“They wanted us to write figures and announce results. I refused to do that.” he said.
Governor Makinde in his reaction to the ongoing public hearing on constitution review said it was a waste of time and opined that he was willing to stake his future political career on the fact that nothing useful would come out of the exercise, which he described as “an annual jamboree to waste money.”
“If this constitution amendment succeeds, that will be the end of my political career. That is how strongly I feel about the waste of time and one that is going on.
“Former President Goodluck Jonathan supervised the production of a document, which many Nigerians agreed is the best document for our civil relations, he did not sign it into law, because he thought he was going to return as President. That document is there and this administration has refused to do something about it.
He also explained that true federalism is much more than just resource control, adding: “It is the fundamental of how we develop as a people. We should not say because these people are backward, then, you bring everybody to the same starting line. A country must allow its people to develop at their pace,” Makinde said.