Damilola Adelesi, Abeokuta
The suspended Local Government and Local Council Development Area Chairmen in Ogun State have dragged the state Governor, Dapo Abiodun; the Speaker of Ogun state House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo; among many others to court over their suspension from office.
The embattled council chairmen on Friday, August 1, 2019 officially filed the suit challenging their suspension and freezing of the local government accounts at the Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta.
Gateway Times also gathered that the Chairmen have also refuted a recent claim by the Dapo Abiodun led administration in the state that their outstanding salaries have been settled.
Meanwhile, in the summon with suit no FHC/AB/C5/76/ signed by M.O Ubani Esq. and J.O Igwe Esq. of Ubani and Co chambers, the Chairmen says the declaration of suspension from office and removal from office, having been duly elected by their constituents and certified by the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission is unconstitutional.
According to them, “the freezing of the Local Governments (LG) and Local Council Development Area (LCDA) accounts based on petitions purportedly written against them, with no opportunity to respond is a gross violation of their constitutionally guaranteed right to fair hearing as guaranteed by the constitution of Nigeria”
However, the Chairmen is seeking from the court an order reversing the suspension of the Chairmen with immediate effect, and also asks for an abridgement of their unexpired tenure, reinstating them back to their respective offices.
In addition, the Chairmen prayed the court an order unfreezing the bank accounts of the LG/LCDAs in Ogun state, giving them access to the funds available.
As a countermeasure, the Chairmen begs the court to restrain the state government or its state assembly from appointing caretaker committee or making any appointment empowering anybody to take over their offices, functions and duties.
As damages, the chairmen also prayed the court to direct the state government to pay them a sum of five hundred million naira (#500,000,000) for the infringement on their constitutional right to office as protected by the constitution of Nigeria.
One of the Council helmsmen, who begged for anonymity disclosed that information from their source at the camp of the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, revealed plans to reinstate chairmen perceived to have switched their allegiance to the current governor’s side. He added that there are plans to indefinitely sack chairmen that worked for Allied Peoples Movement, (APM) at the last general election in the state.
Others defendants in this case are the Permanent Secretary and general solicitor of the state, the Local Government Service Commission and the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy affairs.