The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN has directed the Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde to reverse himself over the dissolution of local government administration in the State.
The directive was contained in a letter sent to the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State, Prof. Oyewo Oyelowo dated 14 January, 2020 with reference HAGF/OYO/2020/Vol.I/I. Entitled; “Unconstitutionality of dissolution of elected local government councils and appointment of caretaker committee: the urgent need for compliance with extant judicial decisions”.
The AGF said in view of the decision of the Supreme Court on the matter that is binding on all 36 States of the Federation, “ the common practice by some State Governors in dissolving elected local government councils is unconstitutional, null and void. So also any system of local government run by Caretaker Committee are outrightly illegal and unconstitutional”.
To this end, I hereby request all their Excellencies, State Governors and Speakers of State House of Assembly, who are currently acting in breach of the provisions of Section 7(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and also acting in disobedience of the Supreme Court judgement highlighted above to immediately retrace their step by ensuring compliance with the above in the overall interest of the rule of law and our democracy.
“The need to immediately disband all caretaker committee and restore democratically elected representatives to man the local governments has therefore become obligatory”, the letter added.
In a related development, Malami requested the Commissioner for Justice to take positive steps to ensure compliance , stressing that, President Buhari and other relevant agencies will be advised further on compliance measures that should be taken in national interest”.
Copies of the letter were also sent to the IGP, DG, DSS, The Ag. Chairman of EFCC and NFIU.
Reacting to the development, the Chairman. Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Oyo state chapter, Prince Ayodeji Abass – Aleshinloye described the decision as a welcome development as it has confirmed what they had always stood for that it was wrong for constitutionally elected local government chairmen to be so treated.
“We are glad with this latest development. We want to assure the administration that as law abiding citizens, we will work hand in glove with them to ensure even development in Oyo State.