Court strikes out LG chairmen’s suit against Fayemi

An Ekiti State High Court on Friday struck out a suit filed by the 16 local government chairmen of the state seeking an order to restrain Governor Kayode Fayemi from removing them from office.

The suit was filed by the council chairmen under the aegis of the state chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria.

All of them are members of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Justice Abiodun Adesodun struck out the suit following a notice of discontinuance filed by their counsel, Mr. Ezekiel Agunbiade.

The notice of discontinuance was consequent upon the notice of preliminary objection filed by counsel to the defendants.

The defendants in the suit are the governor, the state Attorney General, the Speaker and the state House of Assembly.

The 1st and 2nd defendants were represented by Mr. Ibrahim Olarewaju and Mr. Tajudeen Akingbolu respectively, while Mr. Kabir Akingbolu appeared for the third defendant.

The fourth and fifth defendants were represented by Mr. Adeoye Aribasoye.

The defendants filed the preliminary objection to challenge the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit on the grounds that the action of the plaintiffs was “speculative, preemptive, vexatious and unmeritorious.”

The defendants argued no cause of action had arisen on the fate of the council chairmen at the time the case was filed.

Also, the Court of Appeal sitting in Ado-Ekiti has dismissed the appeal filed by the state government against the judgment of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, which nullified the dissolution of the state Independent Electoral Commission set up by Fayemi during his first tenure.

The court had upturned the dissolution of SIEC, led by Mrs. Bosede Adelusi, and other statutory commissions by a former governor, Ayodele Fayose, when their tenure had yet to end.

The court had ordered Fayose to pay salaries and allowances of the commission’s chairmen and members from the date of their dissolution to the end of their five-year tenure.

Dissatisfied, Fayose challenged the judgment at the Court of Appeal. But the appeal was withdrawn by the new Attorney General, Mr. Wale Fapohunda, after which it was dismissed by the appellate court.

After dissolving the SIEC raised by Fayemi during his first term, Fayose had set up a new state electoral agency, chaired by a former Chief Judge, Justice Kayode Bamisile, in 2015.

The Bamisile-led SIEC had conducted two local government elections, including the one that brought the current set of council chairmen and councillors to office.
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