The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo state has alleged that Governor Seyi Makinde and the leadership of the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) were out to waste the state’s scarce resources and also make a mockery of democracy and the rule of law with their plans to go ahead with the conduct of the local government election slated for Saturday, May 22, without the APC and other registered political parties.
The Caretaker Committee Chairman of the APC in Oyo state, Chief Akin Oke, stated this at a press briefing held on Wednesday, at the party’s new state secretariat, Oke-Ado, Ibadan.
Oke said it became compulsory for him to once again address the press on the deliberate and unconstitutional acts of OYSIEC which has excluded the APC from the local government election.
The Caretaker Chairman recalled that the court action of the members of ALGON in Oyo State challenging the unconstitutional dissolution of the duly elected executives of the 33 local governments and 35 local councils development areas in the state was finally laid to rest by the Supreme Court judgement of May 7, 2021.
He said:”One of the reliefs granted at the High Court among others was a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants in that case among which is OYSIEC or anybody whatsoever from conducting elections into the 33 LGs and 35 LCDAs and their councillors during the three years constitutionally guaranteed tenure of the chairmen.
“It would also be recalled that the All Progressives Congress was the political party through which platform the chairmen and councillors contested and won the elections in 2018 and it therefore stands logic on its head for the chairman of OYSIEC who is a senior lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria for that matter to assert that APC cannot seek to benefit from a pronouncement of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and we have to wonder why cases are being cited in court or what do lawyers mean by the doctrine of judicial precedent.
“It will be a situation of approbating and reprobating for the APC to field candidates during the pendency of a litigation instituted by its members and what the lawyers call subjudice which should tell the OYSIEC chairman who is a lawyer that parties are supposed to know that nothing should be done with respect to a matter already submitted for the adjudication of the court.
“It must also be noted that OYSIEC had in its guidelines imposed a nomination form fees of N250,000 and N100,000 to be paid by the chairmanship and councillorship aspirants respectively. These fees are illegal because election processes cannot be monetised. OYSIEC having realised this illegal imposition of fees have now decided to refund the candidates but not after OYSIEC had closed every avenues for participation in the electoral processes thereby shutting out so many citizens of Oyo State who would have participated in the election by seeking for political office but for the illegal imposition of the nomination fees.
“The question is, is it fair on the people for OYSIEC to refuse to extend the election period and allow those already shut out from participating to also have the opportunity to exercise their constitutional rights to seek elective offices? We hope that Oyo State Government and OYSIEC will have a rethink and allow reason to prevail.”
Oke revealed that APC has prepared its originating processes and same forwarded to the Chief Judge of Oyo State through party’s lawyers.
“We are hoping that same will be attended to timeously by accepting same for filing and assigning it to a judge for hearing. The courts are imbued with extensive power under the High Court Laws of Oyo State, the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria and under the High Court Civil Procedure Rules of Oyo State coupled with the fact that the Supreme Court even sat during the pendency of JUSUN strike to deliver its judgment on 7th May, 2021,” he said.
“We are equally aware that some Magistrate Courts in Oyo State are sitting over criminal matters considered urgent during this ongoing JUSUN strike. If the Oyo State Judiciary can permit criminal matters to be heard in a strike, we trust his Lordship, the Chief Judge to mandate the necessary units and personnel to effect filing and assignment timeously before election day,” the Caretaker Chairman added.