The former minister of sports and youth development, Bolaji Abdullahi, says the Kwara state government should obey the court order sacking its LG caretaker committees.
On Friday, a high court in the state ruled in favour of Elite Network for Sustainable Development (ENETSUD), a civil society organisation (CSO), which challenged the sacking of elected local government chairpersons by AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Kwara governor.
AbdulRazaq had replaced the elected officials with caretaker committees which the court described as “executive rascality” and annulled.
Thereafter, the state government said it will appeal the verdict.
In a statement on Sunday, Abdullahi said the state government should save taxpayers money by abandoning its plan to appeal the judgment.
“The Kwara state government would therefore do well to obey the court ruling and call for an election immediately,” Abdullahi said.
“However, going by the posturing of the state government since the judgment was issued, it does appear that for whatever reasons, the government would rather persist on what the court has rightly described as ‘executive rascality’ rather than submit itself to any kind of democratic assessment.
“The Kwara state attorney-general has contemptuously described the High Court judgment as a mere ‘reasoning of the court’ and promised to pursue the matter to the appellate courts.
“But this is a case that the supreme court itself had already settled.
“In a similar case in 2019, the supreme court had this to say: ‘An elected person is not an employee of anybody except the electorate that voted him into office. It is only the electorate who can fire him. In the instant case, councillors derive their mandate from the people who voted them in and are accountable to them… Since section 7(1) of the 1999 constitution guarantees a system of local government councils, then the dissolution of local government councils by the governor of a state and the appointment of caretaker committees to replace the same is inconsistent with that section and is therefore null and void’.
“The state government should abandon this wooden-headed plan to appeal the ruling of the high court and call for an election without any further delay.”