The bid by Oyo State government to legalise its creation of local council development areas, LCDAs, seems to have crashed as a Federal High Court, Abuja as ordered the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission, OYSIEC, to conduct election into the 33 constitutionally recognised local government areas, LGAs, only.
The order was granted after the Oyo State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Oluwaseun Abimbola’s pleadings on the need to conduct election into LGAS. Since April 2017, some community chiefs in Oyo town had sued the state government for ceding some of their villages to neighbouring LGAs in the creation of LCDAs.
The community chiefs were said to have expressed their dissatisfaction and sent delegates to Governor Abiola Ajimobi who promised to “correct the mistakes after seeing reasons with us.”
Rather than fulfil his promise, the governor was said to have gone ahead with the creation of LCDAs. Irked by the development, the chiefs approached a federal court in Abuja, for redress.
The court later ordered the stoppage of the planned election into LGAs and LCDAs. Caught unawares by the action, Ajimobi, through his lawyers pleaded for out-of-court settlement. But lawyer to the the petitioner, Alhaji Ahmed Raji (SAN) wouldn’t agree until a proper legal arrangement was made to iron grey areas.
At the resumed hearing, two months ago, the other LGAs and LCDAs, applied to be joined in the case.
This was to the utter dismay of the petitioner.
At yesterday’s hearing however, the court discharged order 3 of the interim injunction which forbids INEC from releasing the voters register to OYSIEC for conduct of elections into LGs and LCDAs.
Quoting Abimbola, Toye Arulogun who is the commissioner for information said: “in respect of the case filed by Oyo baales challenging the LCDAs and in which the court had issued an injunction preventing the conduct of elections into LG and LCDAs.
I made an application to the court to discharge the part of the Interim order preventing our conduct of elections into LGs since the subject matter of the suit is only on the propriety of LCDAs and not LGs.
“The other counsels in the matter all conceded to the point as canvassed by the Oyo State Government on this matter. Consequently, the Order 3 of the Interim injunction forbidding INEC from releasing voters register to OYSIEC for conduct of elections into LGs and LCDAs has been discharged by the court. Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) is now at liberty to conduct LG elections only, but not into LCDAs which is still pending in court,” the Attorney General explained.”
However, hearing continues in the case next month.