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Until the Local Government is giving a full recognition as a level of governmental structure in Nigeria, laws will continue to have their ways against the political stability of the former. Political actors of different political camps are just taking the advantage of the unclear structure of the local government to the detriment of general development.
Corruption of the judiciary remains a menace which enlivens the greed of the state governor against the supposed survival of the local government as a political unit. The corruption of the judiciary is more enhanced by the unfettered influence of the executive over virtually every living and non-living element within their purview.
The judgement delivered by the Supreme Court on 7th May, 2021 on ALGON vs. Oyo State Government was never a “victory for democracy” as being bandied around by some people but a continued threat to the survival of local government as a level of government. An injunction restraining late Isiaka Ajimobi from conducting the said election was sought and granted by the court of compitent jurisdiction but the man disobeyed the verdict and he went ahead to conduct it. Every living soul who witnessed the jankara exercise knew how it went. Other than interlocutory injunction, the appellant had some other complaints which were capable of rendering the said exercise null and void.
On the other hand, Seyi Makinde displayed executive rascality by dissolving the officials of Oyo councils. We are not in the military era where everything could be ” hereby dissolved”. GSM was supposed to dissolve them through a Court order which should evolve genuine and superior legal contest.
The Supreme Court under the leadership of “Mr. Technicality” has become a shadow of itself. The SC of today decides based on the sentiment of the ruling party, and not on law. The fundamental error that ‘Ile-keu’ certificate is nursing today poses a danger to our judicial system as ratio-decendi of the SC form a precedent in law.
If the interlocutory injunction which restrained late Ajimobi from conducting elections was dismissed as an evidence to nullify ALGON mandate, it implies that the same injunction that the APC is speculating to stop Makinde from conducting the forthcoming local government elections is a waste of time. The spurious judgment further empowers Makinde to make a selection and call it an election. Why? The judgment will give them an impression that once his selected and imposed council members are removed by incoming governor, such an act will uphold the fraudulent mandate.
Many of us who know the implications of such a judgment will never celebrate it. We know what it means when the mandate of such “elections” could be upheld by the SC.
It’s obvious that if the atmosphere and conditions under which the elections of ALGON under late Ajimobi could be celebrated, we should lose hope in the credibility of the ones which Seyi Makinde is proposing. Meanwhile, Seyi Makinde should not dream of making selections in the name of elections as we will use everything to resist it.
In a nutshell, all stakeholders should work towards the survival of local government as many rural local governments are not feeling the impact of state government. The only link to the state and federal governments is local government and that’s why we must make it work
Ogunlana writes from Ibadan, Oyo state capital.