Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) has asked the Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State to reverse the dissolution of local government administration in the State.
The directive was contained in a letter dated January 14, 2020, addressed to the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State, Prof. Oyewo Oyelowo.
The letter, marked HAGF/OYO/2020/Vol.I/I., was entitled, ‘Unconstitutionality of dissolution of elected local government councils and appointment of caretaker committee: the urgent need for compliance with extant judicial decisions.’
The AGF said in view of the decision of the Supreme Court on the matter that is binding on all 36 States of the federation, “The common practice by some state governors in dissolving elected local government councils is unconstitutional, null and void.
“So, also any system of local government run by caretaker committee are outrightly illegal and unconstitutional.
However, Taiwo Adisa, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, said he had not seen the letter. He said whenever he sees it, he would know the appropriate response.
The letter read further;
“I hereby request all state governors and speakers of state House of Assembly, who are currently acting in breach of the provisions of Section 7(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and also acting in disobedience of the Supreme Court judgement highlighted above to immediately retrace their step by ensuring compliance with the above in the overall interest of the rule of law and our democracy.
“The need to immediately disband all caretaker committee and restore democratically elected representatives to man the local governments has, therefore, become obligatory.
“Mr President and other relevant agencies will be advised further on compliance measures that should be taken in national interest”.
Copies of the letter were sent to the Inspector General of Police; Director General, DSS; Acting Chairman of the EFCC and NFIU.
Reacting to the development, the Chairman of ALGON in Oyo State, Prince Ayodeji Abass – Aleshinloye, described the decision as a welcome development as it confirmed the viability of their position.
“We are glad with this latest development. We want to assure the administration in the state that as law-abiding citizens, we will work hand in glove with them to ensure even development in Oyo State.“
The local government chiefs were sacked by the governor and a new caretaker committee was inaugurated barely two months ago.