The Oyo State House of Assembly has nullified the purported suspension of the Chairman of Irepo Local Government Area, Mr Hasif Adediran-Sulaiman and his vice, Mrs Ojedele Victoria.
At Tuesday’s plenary, the Assembly said the local government lawmakers breached the law guiding the suspension process. It directed the House Committee on Local Government Affairs to investigate the matter and report back to it in one week, stressing that the suspended chairman and his vice remain valid heads of the council.
Sulaiman and Ojedele were suspended last week by the council lawmakers who accused him of gross misconduct, high-handedness and lack of respect for party supremacy.
The suspension, was conveyed in an April 25 letter detailing the allegations against the chairman for which he was allegedly found guilty. The letter was signed by seven out of the 10 lawmakers in the council.
The councillors sent a leter to the state lawmakers notifying them of the suspension and seeking their approval.
But, addressing journalists after Tuesday’s plenary, Speaker of the Assembly, Olagunju Ojo urged the people of the council area to remain calm, noting that the House Committee has been mandated to handle the issue procedurally in line with the Oyo Assembly law 2001 which the councillors refused to comply with.
His words: “The House has mandated the committee on LG to handle the issue procedurally in line with the law of Oyo Assembly passed in 2001, that Irepo LG failed to comply with in its procedures at suspending the chairman and vice chairman.
“The House has asked the LG committee to investigate the issues levelled against them. We urged the people to remain calm and maintain status quo.”
The Chairman, House Committee on Information, Mr Joshua Oyebamiji explained further that the Assembly law of 2001 on removal and or suspension of elected officials, especially chairmen, vice chairmen emphasis certain roles to be played by the Councillors, the Chief Judge and even the House of Assembly, which were not followed as stipulated.
According to Oyebamiji, “the suspension is inconclusive because the other two tiers of government have not been involved. We punctuated an error and the committee on LG will look at the nitty gritty of the issues and if the procedures is to continue, the CJ and Assembly have to be involved.
“So, they (the chairman and vice chairman) should go back to their offices until the committee reports back to the house. The elected chairmen are still the lawful officials.”
The council lawmakers had said they received a letter of ‘no confidence’ by the party executive dated April 24, 2019 in which he was accused of insubordination and anti-party activities. The party leaders accused the chairman of open declaration that he is no more a member of the APC.
They accused the suspended Local Government boss of running the council as if it was his personal business, and disregard for the rule of law. They also rated as poor, his relationship with the Head of Local Government Administration (HLA) and other career officers and workers in the council.
The APC state secretariat and the Commissioner for Local Governments were copied in the letter.