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Court Strikes Out Ekiti LG Chairmen’s Suit Against Fayemi

Friday, November 2, 2018

An Ekiti State High Court on Friday struck out a suit filed by the sixteen local government chairmen seeking an order to restrain Governor Kayode Fayemi from removing them from office.

The suit was filed by the council chairmen under the aegis of the state chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) who are members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Justice Abiodun Adesodun struck out the suit following a notice of discontinuance filed by their counsel, Mr. Ezekiel Agunbiade.

The notice of discontinuance was consequent upon the notice of preliminary objection filed by counsel to the defendants.

The defendants in the suit are Dr. Kayode Fayemi (1st), Governor of Ekiti State (2nd), Attorney General, (3rd), Speaker (4th) and House of Assembly (4th).

The 1st and 2nd defendants were represented by Mr. Ibrahim Olarewaju and Mr. Tajudeen Akingbolu while Mr. Kabir Akingbolu appeared for the 3rd defendants.

The 4th and 5th defendants were represented by Mr. Adeoye Aribasoye.

The defendants filed the preliminary objection to challenge the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit on grounds that the action of the plaintiffs was speculative, preemptive, vexatious and unmeritorious.

The preliminary objection was also anchored on the fact that no cause of action had arisen on the fate of the council chairmen at the time the case was filed.

The Court of Appeal sitting in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday dismissed the appeal filed by the state government against the judgment of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) which nullified the dissolution of the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) set up by Fayemi during his first tenure.

The NICN verdict upturned the dissolution of SIEC led by Mrs. Bosede Adelusi and other statutory commissions during Fayemi’s first regime by former Governor Ayo Fayose when their tenure was yet to lapse.

The court further ordered Fayose to pay salaries and allowances of the commission chairmen and members from the date of their dissolution to the end of their five-year tenure.

Fayose challenged the NICN judgment at the Court of Appeal but the appeal was withdrawn by the new Attorney General, Mr. Wale Fapohunda, after which it was dismissed by the appellate court.

The withdrawal of the appeal now leaves the SIEC led by Mrs. Adelusi as the state electoral agency recognized by law.

It will be recalled that after dissolving the SIEC empanelled by Fayemi during his first term, Fayose set up a new state electoral agency led by former Chief Judge, Justice Kayode Bamisile in 2015.

The Bamisile-led SIEC had conducted two local government elections including the one that brought the current set of council chairmen and councilors to office.

The striking out of the suit now leaves the future of the LG chairmen hanging in the balance.

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