The Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ilesa Branch, Osun State, Barrister Kanmi Ajibola has dragged the state governor, Adegboyega Oyetola and his deputy, Benedict Alabi to court for taking their oaths as governor and deputy governor of “State of Osun” and not of Osun State during their swearing-in of November 27, 2018.
Ajibola who filed a 28-paragraph affidavits along with his originating summons at the Osun State High Court, Ilesa on Thursday, December 27 asked the court among other things to set aside the swearing-in ofthe defendants as governor and deputy governor of “State of Osun”as illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.
It would be recalled that Justice Yinka Afolabi of the state High Court, Ilesa had declaredthe use of “State of Osun” as illegal and unconstitutional while delivering judgment on December 14, 2017 in a suit filed by the same activist lawyer against the enactment of a law tagged “State of Osun Land Use Tax Law”
Besides, the same judge struck out the stay of execution application of the judgment filed by the state government on December 4, 2018 for lack of dilligent prosecution.
In the fresh suit, Ajibola who said he filed his case in pursuant to Section 6(6) (b) and 24 of the 1999 constitution and order 3 rules 5 and 8 of the High Court of Osun statebrought before the court some questions for determination.
According to him, it must be determined “by making an interpretative inference from the State (Creation and Transitional Provision) Act, Annotated Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2014 and the oath of office of the Governor of a state contained in the Seventh Schedule of the 1999 Constitution whether what the Constitution created is the State of Osun”
And that by the community reading of the same act and the 1999 constitution with its schedules and the case of Aregbesola versusOyinlola (2010) LPELR – 3805 (CA) whether the 1st Defendant is the “Governor of State of Osun”.
He also asked the court to determine whether the swearing-in of the defendants are lawful and constitutional and whether theycan lawfully benefit to theiradvantage, based on their “unlawful and unconstitutional occupation” of public office as the governor anddeputy governor of State of Osunrespectively.
Ajibola sought nine reliefs and one of it was a declaration that in law and semantic analysis, the “State of Osun” is not the same thing as “Osun State”.
He asked the court to set aside the swearing –in of the defendants as the governor and deputy governor of “State of Osun”, declared the exercise as a nullity and order themto refund to the state the salaries, allowances, and security votes taken from the 27th day of November 2018 to the time they cease to exist as thegovernorand deputy governor of State of Osun.
Ajibola also asked for anorder restraining defendants, in their respective capacities as the governor anddeputy governor of “State of Osun” from taking, in the name ofOsun State, any local and foreign loan(s) from any financial institution or other lending bodies for the purpose of implementing any projects of whatever kinds in the state.