Court to sacked council bosses: don’t take over

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The Oyo State Government on Tuesday secured an injunction restraining the sacked council chairmen across the 33 local governments and 35 local council development areas from forcefully taking over the council secretariat.

The restraint was granted by an Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan.

The court, presided over by Justice Moshud A. A. Abbas, granted the four relief sought by the lead counsel to  Oyo State Government, Dr. Akin Onigbinde, SAN, including an interim injunction restraining the sacked chairmen from forcefully taking over the local government councils or taking steps capable of causing breach of peace in the state.

The interim orders of injunction, which were granted by the Oyo State High Court, followed an ex-parte motion filed by the state government in Suit No: I/78/2020.

Also restrained were the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, Inspector-General of Police Muhammed Abubakar Adamu, the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State Command, Sina Olukolu and Oyo State All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman, Akin Oke.

The parties and their agents were restrained from taking any step that could tamper with the pending matters before the Court of Appeal.

According to the court, the sacked chairmen as well as the four other defendants, their officers, agents, privies or otherwise were restrained from taking steps that would cause breach of peace by embarking on self-help to give effect to a letter dated January 14, 2020 with reference number HAGF/OYO/2020/VOL.I/1 issued by the Attorney-General of the Federation to the sacked chairmen and the Inspector- General of Police pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

In the suit dated January 27, 2020, Makinde alongside state Attorney-General and state Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters got an order of interim injunction restraining Adamu, Malami, Oyo Commissioner of Police Shina Olukolu, Chairman of All Progressives Congress in Oyo State Chief Akin Oke and the Chairman, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, Oyo State, Mr. Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye, from taking steps that could cause breach of peace by resorting to “self-help”.

Another order obtained by the applicants, Oyo governor and two others is that the court restrains the five defendants from further action pending hearing and determination of the appeals on the matter as filed in CA/IB/300/2019 between Governor of Oyo State & Ors vs Bashorun Bosun Ajuwon and 10 others and CA/IB/362/2019 between Bashorun Bosun Ajuwon & 10 Ors. Vs Governor of Oyo State & 6 others.

The applicants further hinged their motion ex parte on an argument that the sacked chairmen were taking steps in the matter, which was currently before the Court of Appeal, which should be frowned at by the court.

An action described as wrongful, vexatious and malicious, the applicants further argued that since the matter had been submitted to the court for adjudication, the defendants should not take steps that may overreach the resolution of the matter such as making moves to take over office.

This is as the applicants held that the AGF’s order directing the IGP and Oyo APC chairman to reinstate the sacked chairmen was in contravention of sections 7 and 174 of the 1999 Constitution, and was meant to cause breach of peace, pandemonium.

Citing the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Okochi  and Animkwoi (2004), Makinde and the two other applicants held that the courts should frown at self-help being employed by the defendants, which could be a catalyst for chaos and anarchy.

The relief sought by the applicants are, “an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants either by themselves, officers, agents, privies or otherwise from taking steps that will cause breach of peace by embarking on self-help, through the letter dated January 14, 2020 with reference number HAGF/OYO/2020/VOL.1/1 issued by the Attorney-General to Chief Akin Oke and the Inspector-General of Police to reinstate the sacked chairmen of the 33 local governments and local council development areas of Oyo State pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“An order of the court restraining the defendants either by themselves, offices, agents, privies from taking over the 33 local governments and local council development areas of Oyo State secretariats, and/or assisting in forcefully reinstating the sacked chairmen of the 33 local governments and local council development areas of Oyo State pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“An order of this honourable court restraining the defendants either by themselves, agents, privies or otherwise from interfering with the rest of the matters, being matters arising after appeal has been lodged, and not covered by the appeals in CA/IB/300/2019 between Governor of Oyo State & Ors vs Bashorun Bosun Ajuwon and 10 Ors, and CA/IB/362/2019 between Bashorun Bosun Ajuwon & 10 Ors. Vs Governor of Oyo State & 6 Ors., pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.

“An order of this honourable court restraining the defendants or their agents/privies from further harassing and on/or intimidating the claimants/applicant or any officer of Oyo State with the police apparatus or any other law enforcement agency pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

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