By Dayo Johnson, Akure
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has approached the Court of Appeal to upturn a judgment of an Ondo State High Court barring the state government from dissolving local governments in the state.
The case is due for mention at the Appeal Court, sitting in Akure, the state capital, tomorrow.
The governor’s statement of appeal to the appellate court, served on the counsel to the 18 local government chairmen and councilors, Olusola Oke, was sighted by our correspondent yesterday in Akure.
The chairmen and councilors were elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which lost the last governorship election to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state.
The Ondo State High Court had, on January 17, ruled on a suit filed by the 18 local government chairmen and councilors, led by their chairman, Mr. David Alarapon, Chairman of Akure South LGA.
It ruled that the state government, either by their agents or servants, had no right to remove the elected officials until their tenure lapsed.
In the judgment delivered by the then Chief Judge of the state, Justice Olasehinde Kumuyi, the court upheld the claims by Alarapon and 34 others, among who were some councilors, that the council officials were democratically elected to serve for a tenure of three years which would lapse on April 25, 2019.
The council leaders had approached the court to prevent the state government from dissolving, sacking, dethroning, impeaching or however removing the claimants from their respective positions, offices, duties, functions, powers and rights.
The claimants averred that anything to the contrary would contravene the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended.)
In granting the prayers of the local council chairmen and councilors, Kumuyi observed that the “tenure of an elected councilors or office holder cannot be abridged or determined at the whims or caprices of anyone one except the electorate.”