Court sacks Kwara Councils

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Transition Implementatuon Committees for Local Governments are illegal, the Kwara State High Court has reaffirmed.
Justice H. A Gegele of the State High Court, Ilorin on Friday ruled that the appointment of Transition Implementation Committee,TIC, for the sixteen local government councils in the state by Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq was illegal.

The state Deputy Governor, Mr. Kayode Alabi, had eight months ago, precisely 18th March, sworn in chairmen of the Local Government Transition Implementation Committees while asking them to be prudent, transparent, accountable and fair to all.

He had added that members of the TICs were appointed by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to hold forth pending election into the Local Councils while asking the appointees to justify the confidence reposed in them by government by working assiduously to engender sustainable development at the grassroots level.

Delivering the judgment in the suit filed by the incorporated trustees of the Elites Network for Sustainable Development against the Kwara State Government, Governor Abdulrazaq and the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Salman Jawondo , Justice H.A. Gegele declared the appointment of the TIC members illegal.

The judge not only ruled in favour of ENetSuD and admitted that ENetSuD was a juristic person with a legal personality that can sue and be sued but also referred to the appointment of the TICs as ‘abuse of power’ .

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Reacting to the judgment, Kwara state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a statement by its State Publicity Secretary, Tunde Ashaolu, said the ruling was a welcome development while adding that it was a victory for democracy and the rule of law.

The party also commended ENetSuD for fighting what it called illegality, demanding justice and making efforts to deepen democracy in the state. Posterity would according to the party be kind to the group.

“The ruling of the Court did not come as a surprise to us. It is in line with our earlier position that the Governor lacks power to sack elected council chairmen and that the appointment of Transition Implementation Committee (TIC) by him was unconstitutional, undemocratic, null and void.

Today’s judgment is a victory for democracy, rule of law and the good people of Kwara State who have always demanded justice and adherence to due process.

Our party commends ENetSuD for standing against illegality and impunity, for demanding justice and making efforts to deepen democracy in our dear State. Your doggedness and resilience eventually paid off. Posterity will be kind to you.

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Now that the Court has ruled that the caretaker committees are non-existent in the eyes of the law, we expect Governor Abdulrazaq to immediately initiate process to conduct local government elections’ the party submitted.

Kwara state government has served notice of appeal.

Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Salman Jawondo noted in a statement made available to Team@orientmags.com on Friday that the constitution gives the state the right to appeal and that this would be fully utilized.

‘The judgment in respect of the case filed by the incorporated Trustees of Elite Network for Sustainable Development was delivered today, the 8th of October, 2021.

We wish to state that the reasoning of the trial judge is not finality on the issue as it is subject to appeals at the higher benches, up to the Supreme Court. This allowance is guaranteed under our law.

In exercise of its right of appeal as enshrined under the 1999 constitution as amended, the state government intends to explore that right.