There was a mild drama at the Court of Appeal, sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital on Monday, as the counsel to the Ondo State governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, Mr. Charles Titiloye said his client was unaware of any suit on the dissolution of the 18 local government administration in the state.
The governor had purportedly appealed a judgement delivered by Justice Olasehinde Kumuyi (retrd) of the state High Court in January 2017, restraining him from removing the council bosses from office.
But Titiloye told the appellate court that Akeredolu, (his client) was embarrassed to read the reports of his suit to dissolve local government administration in the newspapers.
He said, the governor was not aware of both the order of the High Court restraining him from dissolving the councils or of the appeal supposedly filed by him.
Titiloye of the state’s Ministry of Justice, who noted that the state’s Solicitor-General, Mr. Akin-Ladapo Ogunleye was in court, to demonstrate how concerned the governor was, over the suit.
Ogunleye, in the court rose up to confirm his (governor) presence, while the 18 local government chairmen and councillors were represented by their counsel, Mr. Olusola Oke.
The governor’s legal team, however pleaded for adjournment to enable their client study the matter very well.
The presiding judge, Justice Uzo Ndukwe Anyanwu adjourned the matter to June 7, 2017, for hearing.
Akeredolu, according to a hearing notice served on Oke by the state’s Ministry of Justice, had appealed a judgement of the state’s High Court headed by the former Chief Judge of the state, Justice Olasehinde which barred the governor from sacking the council officials elected on the platform of opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in April 2016.
The chairman and Councillors averred that in line with the 1999 Constitution (as amended), they were
In granting their prayers, Justice Kumuyi observed that the “tenure of an elected councillor or office holder cannot be abridged or determined at the whims or caprices of anyone one except the electorate.”
The judge restrained the state government from dissolving, sacking, dethroning, impeaching or however removing the claimants from their respective positions, offices, duties, functions, powers and rights.