Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has directed Heads of Local Government Administration (HLAs) in all the 33 local government councils in the state to take over the administration of their respective councils from the Caretaker Committee Chairmen.
The directive, which was contained in a statement issued in Ibadan on Friday by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Dr Festus Adedayo, was sequel to the expiration of the tenure of the Committee Chairmen.
It would be recalled that the six-month tenure of the chairmen, which was renewed by the state House of Assembly, expired on Thursday.
The statement further disclosed that a list of new Caretaker Chairmen had been forwarded by the governor to the House of Assembly for ratification and approval.
The state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adebayo Ojo, had in a recent statement attributed the delay in the conduct of local government election in the state to legal rather than political considerations.
According to him, the legal constraints, which hindered the constitution of the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) have made the conduct of the local government election to be put in abeyance until a competent court of law pronounces on the matter.
“In 2007, former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala unconstitutionally sacked members and Chairman of OYSIEC appointed by his former boss, Sen. Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja and replaced them with his own protégés.
“Chief Oyemomilara Okunola and others appointed by Sen. 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 judgment 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 said.
He said that the Chairman and members of OYSIEC appointed by Otunba Alao-Akala in 2007 also went to court in 2011 to challenge their removal from office by the current governor as a follow-up to the judgment obtained by Ladoja’s OYSIEC appointees.
The Attorney General said that the Oyo State High Court, through Hon. Justice M.O. Bolaji-Yussuff, also awarded judgment in favour of this set of OYSIEC appointees and ordered the state to pay them their entitlements, reports the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).