Governor Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola and his Deputy, Benedict Alabi of Osun State, have been dragged to court for taking oaths of office as Governor and Deputy Governor of “State of Osun” instead of Osun State during their swearing in ceremony on November 27, 2018.
Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ilesa Branch, Kanmi Ajibola filed the suit before the court.
Ajibola asked the court among other things to set aside the swearing-in of the 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 declared the 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 diligent 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 state brought 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 versus Oyinlola (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 they can lawfully benefit to their advantage, based on their “unlawful and unconstitutional occupation” of public office as the Governor and Deputy Governor of State of Osun respectively.
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 them to 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 the governor and deputy governor of State of Osun.
Ajibola also asked for an order restraining defendants, in their respective capacities as the governor and deputy governor of “State of Osun” from taking, in the name of Osun 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.