The embattled 68 chairmen of Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Authorities (LGs and LCDAs) in Oyo State have condemned the State Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) for rolling out election time table while still awaiting Supreme Court judgement on their ‘illegal and unconstitutional’ sack by the present Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration, describing the decision as arrogance abuse of power.
It would be recalled that OYSIEC last week rolled out election time table, indicating that the local government polls will hold on 15th of May, 2021. Meanwhile, Supreme Court ruling on the case is slated for 7th of May, 2021.
This is as the group called on Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) to stop the process of what it called “scammed election”, saying it is illegal, presumptuous, wasteful and unnecessary.
They also urged political parties not to ‘invest’ in the planned election because it would not lead anywhere.
The council bosses have been in a running legal battle with the state government to reclaim their mandate in the last two years. They were sacked by Governor Seyi Makinde led administration upon resumption of office.
The sacked council chairmen spoke during a press conference held at the Ring-Road, Iyaganku Secretariat of the Association on Monday.
Addressing the press, Oyo ALGON Chairman, Prince Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye said it was surprising that while all the parties to the suit are awaiting the May 7 judgement of the Supreme Court, the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC), a party to the suit published a timetable for council polls to be conducted on May 15, bare eight days after the Supreme Court judgement.
He said the implication of such move is an indication of the governor’s usual arrogant abuse of power.
He added that three reasons could be adduced for the decision on the publish timetable which it is either the government may have perfected ways to buy off the judgement or that the OYSIEC is ready to engage in an election advanced fee fraud.
Abass-Aleshinloye said “Governor Seyi Makinde’s penchant for lawlessness and executive rascality is unequalled.
“The Supreme Court of Nigeria has fixed May 7, 2021, for judgement on the protracted case of illegal dissolution of elected local government administration in Oyo state by Governor Seyi Makinde.
“The case was instituted by elected local government chairmen and councillors under the umbrella of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria, ALGON, Oyo state against Oyo state Governor, Mr Seyi Makinde and the State Government.
“The almost two years old case is to have a final closure on May 7, 2021, when the Supreme Court will rule and give the final judgement.
“While all the parties to the suit are expected to await the judgement for the final closure since the Supreme Court is the apex court, its surprising to see that Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission, (OYSIEC), a party to the suit and well represented at the Supreme Court, prompted by Governor Seyi Makinde, went ahead to publish a timetable for the local government election which intends to conduct on May 15, 2021, eight days after the expected Supreme Court judgement of May 7.
“By the implication of this grandstanding to conduct local government election and the governor’s usual arrogant abuse of power, three main reasons can be adduced for jumping the gun by releasing election timetable and proceed to implement it before Supreme Court judgement.
“Governor Makinde may have perfected a way to buy off judgement as being boasted by his political acolytes and street boys. But this may be very difficult for him to achieve because of the integrity of the bench and their precedent judgements on similar cases like ours.
“It may be an organized OYSIEC ‘come and contest’ election scam, an election advance fee fraud where many unsuspecting candidates will be encouraged to invest in the election that may never hold. But like yahoo-yahoo deal, many would have been fleeced of their hard-earned money.
“The Governor may be planning an ‘executive coup’ against the Supreme Court judgement if it does not favour him by going ahead with the election after the judgement even if it doesn’t favour him and his government.
“He will encourage his handpicked ‘elected’ chairmen and councillors to go to court and obtain an injunction to challenge returned elected chairmen on the basis of lapsed tenure in case Supreme Court does not make a declaratory judgement on the continuation of tenure. This will be another illegal step to return the state to another unnecessary legal crisis.
“The Governor and his election merchant’s team may just be grandstanding in a wild fight of fantasy just for psychological relief in order to give false hope of judicial victory instead of the uncertainty of where the pendulum of justice swings in the protracted case.
“We advise political parties and candidates not to invest in OYSIEC electoral market process which will lead to nowhere if ALGON wins at the Supreme Court on May 7, 2021. Don’t be scammed. After May 7 judgement, the political climate will be clear to all and sundry and nobody will be scammed.
“On this point, we call on OYSIEC to stop the process of its scammed election, it’s illegal, presumption, wasteful and unnecessary.”