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Open Letter To IGP On LG Chairmen Composition And Related Matters | Ramoni Alebiosu


It is with utmost sense of responsibility that we wish to appreciate your intervention on the lingering contention in the composition of executive councils in local government authorities in our dear Oyo State. We believe that your interest in the matters of local government administration in the state is in line with your duty to ensure maintenance law and order in the state and everywhere else in Nigeria.

While we assure you of being in support of your desire for the promotion of peace in Oyo State, we would like to raise some objections to your recent instruction to the Commissioner of Police in Oyo State ordering him to ensure the reinstatement of local government chairmen who are currently under suspension by the state government.

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Without a slightest intention of undermining your office, we want to put it on record that it is not within the contemplation of the police to give enforcement orders on a matter that is yet before the courts. It will be stating the obvious that any such instruction to the Commissioner of Police in Oyo State to meddle into a matter of political nature would give the Nigeria Police a wrong representation as having a partisan interest in the matter. Such political bias would deprive the police of its legitimacy as an impartial agent of law enforcement. And that, for sure, will not be a pleasant description of the police authority under your able watch.

Let us also state that any signal of partisanship by the police in the matter could breach the balance of peace in Oyo State with untoward consequences.

We are not unawares of the fact that your instruction to Commissioner of Police Shina Olukolu came on the heels of a letter written by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami asking the Oyo State government to dissolve all local government caretaker committee chairmen in the state and to reinstall the suspended chairmen.

It would be appropriate to draw your attention to the response by the Oyo State Commission of Justice, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo and widely published in Nigerian newspapers and blogs. The state government aversion to the directive from the AGF Malami is also premised on the fact that the federal government has no business to order instructions on a matter which determination is still pending before the court.

In the rejoinder entitled “RE: ALLEGED UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF DISSOLUTION OF ELECTED LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCILS AND APPOINTMENT OF CARETAKER COMMITTEES: THE URGENT NEED FOR COMPLIANCE WITH EXTANT JUDICIAL DECISIONS,” Professor Oyewo said: “I wish to note that your letter Ref. No, HAGF/OYO/2020/Vol.1/1 of 14th January, 2020 dealing with the above subject matter was never served on us, but we read about it and had to secure a copy from the social media.

“I must note that under Section 7(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which you referred to in your letter, it is the Law of the State Government that is to ensure the existence of the system of Local Government by democratically elected Local Government Council by providing for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils and not a Federal Law/Act.

“It is therefore not clear under what Act of the National Assembly the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation & Minister of Justice was acting in writing the letter under reference.

“It should be borne in mind that our Constitution has established a Federal system of government whereby the state government is not under the command of the Federal Government, neither are we under Military Era when the Federal Government could give a binding order to the State Government by mere proclamation and at will. We are now in a civilian dispensation and the position of every officer whether at the Federal or State level is guided by the provisions of the Constitution and relevant law.”

Similarly, Governor Seyi Makinde in a press statement from his office noted that the statement credited to Malami was, “uncalled for, misguided and lacking in merit, as far as the constitution of Nigeria is concerned.”

According to the statement, the issue of local government dissolution in Oyo state is a subject of stay/appeal that is pending before the Court of Appeal in two cases including Governor of Oyo State Vs Basorun Bosun Ajuwon, Appeal no CA/IB/300/2019 and Basorun Majeed Bosun Ajuwon Vs Governor of Oyo State CA/IB/362/2019.

The statement notes further that, “It is also instructive to note that parties have filed their respective briefs of argument and the appeals have now been fixed for the 19th of February, 2020.”

The Government called on Malami to rise above partisan politics and advise parties to await judgment of the court in the various appeals.

It is, therefore, on this note that we too call on you to absolve your esteemed office and the police institution from being manipulated by politicians in the opposition APC in Oyo State in such a way that will bring ridicule to the Nigeria Police and, worse still, compromise the current atmosphere of peace and security enjoyed in Oyo State.

We have it on good authority that some unscrupulous elements from the opposition party are angling to use the dispute on the composition of local government executive committee in the state to stir crisis and breakdown of law and order. We would wish that the police do not become a tool in the hands of these enemies of peace.

On a final note, we would humbly request that you reverse your order to Commissioner of Police Shina Olukolu and consequently allow the police to maintain its status as an impartial agent of law enforcement until the court dispenses with applications seeking redress on the contentious issue.

Your’s Sincerely:

Chief Ramoni Alebiosu

President, Ibadan Advancement Group

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