The Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Dauda Kolawole, said this in a statement while reacting to a release by the PDP berating the ACN-led government of non-conduct of local government elections.
The party said its submission was based on what it called the PDP’s ‘trial by the media’ when indeed the opposition party had only last week filed a case in court against the state government over the same matter.
“What is obvious in these renewed attacks on the state government in the media, when indeed there is a pending case in the court instituted by the same party, is a party that thrives in trial by media. If it had any respect for the judiciary, it should have waited for the judgement over the matter. This is a lawlessness that can be found in the PDP’s daily interface with the people,” the ACN said.
The party said that for the sake of reply to the PDP, however, it was adopting the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ojo Mutalubi Adebayo’s recent comment on the same matter where he had said that legal, rather than political considerations, was the reason the state had not held the local government elections.
According to the ACN, the AG had been quoted in the media as saying legal constraints, which hinder the constitution of the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC), have made the conduct of the local government elections to be put in abeyance until a competent court of law pronounces on the matter.
Quoting the Attorney General, the ACN said he had said: “In 2007, former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala unconstitutionally sacked members and Chairman of OYSIEC appointed by his former boss, Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja and replaced them with his own proteges.
“Chief Oyemomilara Okunola and others appointed by Senator Ladoja and who were sent packing by Otunba Akala thus filed an action at the High Court, Ibadan to challenge their unlawful removal from office because the constitution guaranteed them a fixed term of five years from 2003 to 2008.
“Oyo State High Court per Hon. Justice P.O.Ige (as he then was) and now of the Court of Appeal, gave judgement in favour of Senator Ladoja’s appointees and held that they were illegally and unconstitutionally sacked by Governor Akala. The court declared their sack as null and void and ordered that all their entitlements up to 2008 be paid,” Adebayo explained.
The ACN also claimed that the AG had said that the Chairman and members of OYSIEC imposed by Otunba Alao-Akala in office in 2007 also went to court in 2011 to challenge their removal from office by the current governor, Senator Ajimobi, as a follow-up to the judgement obtained by the Ladoja’s OYSIEC men.
The Attorney General said that the Oyo State High Court, through Hon. Justice M.O. Bolaji-Yussuff, also awarded judgement in favour of this set of OYSIEC men too and ordered the state to pay them their entitlements.
In the words of the ACN, the Attorney General was that, “It is obvious that the state government is confronted with two sets of judgements from the High Court of the state, with each of the judgements validating the appointment of the claimants before each of the court and also with the earlier judgement declaring as nullity the appointment of the latter OYSIEC men of Otunba Alao-Akala”.
Stating that the AG said it would amount to contempt of court for the state government to urge the House of Assembly to proceed with the screening and clearance of the Chairman and members of OYSIEC already forwarded to the House of Assembly by Governor Ajimobi, in view of the court judgements, it wondered what the PDP was bothered about.
“The Attorney General told the world that the state government, therefore, chose the path of honour and constitutionalism by subjecting the latter judgement to the Court of Appeal for determination, while the state also settled all the entitlements of the OYSIEC men of 2003 to 2008,” said the ACN Publicity Secretary.