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Oyo Assembly okays dissolution of LG excos, OYSIEC board

From Ibadan

Oyo State House of Assembly has okayed the dissolution of local government executive councils and the board of Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC).

The gavel was sounded by the Speaker, Adebo Ogundoyin, during the plenary held in Ibadan, the state capital on Tuesday.

Governor Makinde had on Wednesday May 29, 2019 dissolved local government executive councils. He also dissolved OYSIEC board this month with a promise that members of the board would be paid their salaries and allowances for the remaining months they were to spend in the statutory body.

The dissolution has, however, attracted heated criticism by the opposition party – All Progressives Congress(APC). The Association of Local Government
Chairmen of Nigeria (ALGON), Oyo State chapter, being chaired by Prince Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye, is already in court to challenge the dissolution of local government executive council across the state.

The critics of the governor have also sought to know why the governor would sack OYSIEC board members and pay them off when he said the state is
technically bankrupt.

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But during the plenary held on Tuesday, the lawmakers noted that the past administration conducted council elections into the 33 local government areas and 35 local council development areas(LCDAs) in May 2018, saying it was constitutional to conduct election into the 33 councils recognised by the Constitution of Nigeria, and it was unconstitutional to conduct election into the 35 LCDAs that are not recognised by the constitution.

The lawmakers concluded that the conduct of council poll into the 35 LCDAs together with the 33 local government areas was a way of legalising illegality and action rendered the entire election unconstitutional, adding that the past administration should have conducted election into the 33 councils alone.

The legislators, however, said they were not against the creation of the LCDAs, but instead of election, the past administration should have appointed caretaker committees to administer the LCDAs.

The Majority Leader, Sanjo Adedoyin, representing Ogbomoso South, tabled the two issues under matter of urgent public importance. The motion was titled: ‘Need to Review the Activities of Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) and Conduct of Local Government and Local Council Development Areas Election in Conformity with Provisions of the Laws.’

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The 32-member assembly comprised 26 members of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), five members of All Progressives Congress(APC) and one member of Action Democratic Party (ADP).

The Speaker, Ogundoyin said the constitution is supreme above all other laws, saying the creation of LCDAs in 2002 is not recognised by the constitution. He held that the action of OYSIEC to conduct election into the LCDAs was unconstitutional and ultra vires Section 4A, Part II of the third schedule to the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.

But the Minority Leader of the House, Asimiyu Alarape, objected to the matter, saying the Oyo State Law 2002 enacted by the House of Assembly created additional local governments during the administration of the late former governor of the state, Alhaji Lam Adesina, adding that when it was converted to LCDAs, it was done by the same House of Assembly. He argued that the existing laws have not been repealed by the same law.

But member, Fatokun Ayomide, representing Akinyele Constituency I, said all those chairmen “stand removed because election was wrongly held.”

The House, however, urged the executive arm to urgently consider reconstitution of OYSIEC that would organise fresh, free and fair election into local government councils in conformity with the provisions of the Laws.

The Assembly also set up an eight-member ad-hoc committee to investigate all activities of the local governments and LCDAs from May 2018 till the time they were dissolved.