Emmanuel Kehinde, ilorin
Kwara Emerging Leaders, KEL, has commended the judgement on the illegality of the appointment of Transition Implementation Committee for the local government areas in the state by the Kwara State Governor mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq.
In a judgement delivered today in favour of the Elite Network for Sustainable Development, ENETSUD, an anti-corruption Civil Society Organization in Kwara State, it declared the action of the state government as illegal and executive rascality.
Seun Awogbenle, KEL Convener, described the judgement as a triumph for democracy and that the group has been vindicated.
According to him, “This is a triumph for democracy and a victory for rule of law. We have always held the view that the appointment of caretaker committee is not only illegal, it was also never going to stand a simple legal test.”
According to him “We have long described the appointment of TIC by the Governor as a gross abuse of executive power and a flagrant violation of a matter that had long been settled by the Supreme Court.
“The legality of State Governors removing and, or replacing lawfully elected Local Government Councils has been clarified by the Courts beyond a shadow of doubt- it is illegal/unlawful/unconstitutional. It is symptomatic of a military dictatorial tendency by the very class of people -elected Governors- who are the chief beneficiaries of our hard-earned democracy”, he said.
ENETSUD in suit KWS/117/2021 had dragged the Kwara State Governor the kwara state government and Attorney General of Kwara State) to the State High Court to seek the following reliefs:
A declaration that section 29 (1) to (5) of the Kwara State Local Government Law, 2005 is in conflict with section 7(1) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and thus null, void and of no effect whatsoever to the extent that it empowered Governor of Kwara State to dissolve the democratically-elected Local Government councils and replace them with Transitional Implementation Committees/ Caretaker or whatsoever name called appointed by the Governor or any other body.
A declaration that by virtue of the combined effect of section 7 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the provisions of section 18 and 28 the Kwara State Local Government Law, 2005 the Governor of Kwara State had no power to dissolve the democratically-elected councils of the sixteen Local Governments of Kwara State.
A Declaration that 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) does not recognize the purported Transitional Implementation Committee/ Caretaker or any other name whatsoever called in Kwara State and the creation or appointing of such is therefore unconstitutional.
A Declaration that the Respondents lack vires to release or use Kwara State resources to fund purported Transitional Implementation Committee/ Caretaker or any other name whatsoever called in view of sections 1(1), 7(1) and 15 (5) of the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
An Order setting aside the purported appointment of Transitional Implementation Committee by the Kwara State Government of 5th March, 2021 or any other dates whatsoever.
An Order directing the 2nd Respondent (Kwara State Governor) to recover/refund back to the State Treasury all funds, remunerations and benefits already paid to members of the said Transitional Implementation Committees.
An Order directing the 2nd Respondent (Kwara State Governor) to conduct Local Government election in the whole local government area of Kwara state with immediate effect in accordance with section 7 (1) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
The court granted all the prayers 1 – 7 above made to the court by ENetSuD.