An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan on Tuesday rejected a motion seeking to enforce the May 6 judgment obtained by the sacked local government chairmen in the state.
It held that allowing the motion would amount to an abuse of court process since the state government has appealed the judgment.
The May 6 judgment, delivered by Justice Aderonke Aderemi, has prevented the Oyo State Government, the executive governor, the House of Assembly or any of its agent from removing local government(LG) and Local Council Government Development Area (LCDA) chairmen and councillors from office.
Governor Seyi Makinde had sacked the councils after he was sworn-in on May 29. He said they were illegally constituted.
The sacked chairmen, under the aegis of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Oyo State Chapter, filed a motion seeking to enforce the judgment, saying the governor was planning to appoint caretaker chairmen for the dissolved local councils.
But, the state government launched an appeal against the May 6 judgment.
Ruling on the motion for enforcement of the judgment yesterday, Justice Ladiran Akintola struck out the motion brought by the council bosses for lack of diligent prosecution, saying that since the state government has appealed the judgment, it would be an abuse of court processes.
His words: “I am satisfied with the defendants’ (state government) application and I hereby grant the motion of notice of appeal of the defendant.
“I hereby grant the stay of execution of the judgment, enforcing the judgment, giving effect to the judgment by the claimants or their privies.”
Counsel to ALGON, Kunle Sobaloju, was absent at yesterday’s proceedings and was not represented in court.
In a letter sent to the court, he asked for an adjournment of the case to October 10 and also filed a counter-affidavit against the resolution of the House of Assembly on July 9, which supported the governor’s action.
The defendants’ lead counsel, Mr. Adeniyi Farinto, opposed the application and urged the court to reject the letter and the counter affidavit.
One of the claimants, Basorun Bosun Ajuwon, who spoke on behalf of ALGON when probed by Justice Akintola if he has anything to say since their lawyer was not present in court, appealed for adjournment, saying: “Our lawyer is handling a tribunal case and election petition is time-bound. We are appealing to you to give us some time.”
Justice Akintola, however, adjourned the case till October 15 for hearing.