Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The suspended 16 local government council chairmen under the aegis of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) in Kwara State have filed a contempt of court against the state Governor, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, and state House of Assembly over their purported suspension from office for six months.
The state governor, Abdulrasaq, had last Tuesday suspended the council chairmen and their councillors from office for six months based on the recommendation of the state assembly.
The development, however, led the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to kick against the suspension of the affected local government council chairmen.
The party described the action as unconstitutional in view of the ruling of the Supreme Court that barred any dissolution or suspension of any democratically elected council chairman in the country.
However, speaking with journalists in Ilorin Wednesday, Chairman of the state ALGON, who is also the suspended Chairman of the Oyun LGA, Mr. Joshua Omokanye, said their suspension was reportedly occasioned by a petition, and violated their fundamental human rights.
Omokanye, who was flanked by 15 other chairmen at the press conference, said they would “remain resolute and assert their constitutional and legal right to remain in office as well as continue to function as the duly and democratically elected local government council chairmen in the state.”
He also said: “There is a subsisting and final judgement of the state high court in Ilorin delivered on June 13, 2019, between Hajia Risikat Opakunle and 15 others versus the governor of Kwara State and two others “that determined that the governor and the state House of Assembly cannot dissolve the local government councils in the state or suspend the 16 local government council chairmen in the state during the tenure of their respective offices which will expire on November 27, 2020.
“Furthermore, members of the public are also being informed that the judgment referred to also affirmed that the governor of the state and members of the state assembly cannot freeze the bank accounts of the 16 local government council chairmen.
“Under a constitutional arrangement, neither the governor nor the state assembly has the power to dissolve the local government councils in the state or suspend us from office particularly when we have a valid and subsisting judgment of court in our favour that has made final judicial pronouncements on our rights as democratically elected council chairmen in the state.”
Omokanye therefore said the security agencies, civil societies and members of the public have been informed on this unconstitutional move of the state Governor, Abdulrasaq, and the state assembly to cause disharmony in the state.