The Supreme Court has declared the dissolution of local government administrations in Oyo and Katsina states and their replacement with caretaker committees as unconstitutional and illegal.
In a unanimous judgment by a five-member panel of justices on Friday, the apex court ruled that the dissolution of duly elected local government council officials of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by Governor Aminu Masari and Ayo Makinde on allegation of financial misappropriation of councils’ funds is illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.
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In the lead judgment by Justice Ejembi Eko, the Supreme Court said Governor Makinde’s sacking of 33 LG chairmen and 35 Local Government Development Areas in the state was beyond his powers.
Justice Eko noted that the governor’s dissolution of democratically elected chairmen and councillors and replacing them with caretakers was taken despite a subsisting court order and a breach of Section 7(1) of the 1999 Constitution.
Consequently, it invoked its original jurisdiction under Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act and voided the earlier judgment of the Court of Appeal, which had validated Governor Makinde’s action on the grounds that the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) had no reasonable cause of action.
The court further awarded a cost of N20m in favour and payment of all entitlements of the dissolved council officials.
Similarly, the Supreme Court set aside the judgement of the Court of Appeal which allowed Governor Masari to dissolve the elected 34 council officials in the state.