After several court hearing, the Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD), an anti-corruption civil society organization in Kwara State, has won its case against the Kwara State Government over the illegal appointment of the Transition Implementation Committee (TIC) to man the affairs of all the 16 Local Government Areas in the State.
This was made known to public by the ENetSuD Coordinator, Dr Abdullateef Alagbonsi, through his press statement made available to Our Correspondent yesterday.
In suit no KWS/117/2021, ENetSuD dragged the respondents (Kwara State Government, Kwara State Governor and Attorney General of Kwara State) to the State High Court to seek some reliefs.
The reliefs are, 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). ”
Hon. Justice H.A. Gegele delivered his judgement on the case today, October 8, 2021.
The judge rules in favor of ENetSuD and admitted that ENetSuD is a juristic person with a legal personality that can sue and be sued.
He ruled in favor of ENetSuD that it has locus standi to pursue this case in court of competent jurisdiction.
“The court admitted all exhibits and evidences submitted by ENetSuD.
“The Court agreed that the KWSG suspended a democratically-elected Local Government Council and then replaced them with an illegal TIC that is not known to any law.
“The Court described the action of the Governor (and the Government) as executive rascality and an abuse of power.
“The court granted all the prayers 1 – 7 above made to the court by ENetSuD.”
We’ll appeal judgment – KWSG
In a related development, the state government in their reaction signed by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Salman Jawondo said,”The judgment in respect of the case filed by the incorporated Trustee of Elite Network for Sustainable Development was delivered today, October 8, 2021.
“We wish to state that the reasoning of the trial judge is not a 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. It will also, as allowed under the law, seek immediate stay of execution of the judgment of the trial Court,” he added.