The Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Oyo State chapter, has berated Governor Seyi Makinde for putting the financial resources of the state in jeopardy over what it described as the “executive rascality of the governor.”
Makinde sacked the council executives by fiat within hours of his swearing-in as governor on May 29, 2019. But the Supreme Court nullified his action on Friday, describing it as executive recklessness.
It directed the governor to pay the sacked officials their total salaries and entitlements for the remaining two years of their tenure which they were deprived, and additional 10 months salaries as a special penalty for his action. The apex court gave the governor till August 7, to implement the judgement.
The sacked council executives were elected in May 2018 for a three-year tenure which was supposed to lapse this month but were denied two years in office by Makinde’s action.
Reacting, the state ALGON Chairman, Prince Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye, said the Supreme Court judgement has confirmed the association’s position that Makinde was corrupt and lacks respect for rule of law.
He said: “It pleased their Lordships to monetize our restoration to physically occupy our offices, but to be paid fully our salaries and allowances till March 2022. We accept this condition but with sympathy to our dear pacesetter state which financial resources are now put in jeopardy because of the executive rascality of the governor who will now pay us and continue to pay the illegal caretaker contraption he unleashed on local government councils.
“It’s a case of paying two sets of workers for the same position. This is how the state resources are being wasted under this government to fund impunity, lawlessness, political thuggery and white elephant projects when social infrastructure are in serious deficit.”
He said ALGON would have loved the apex ❍ourt to order the governor to pay the sacked council executives from his personal and business accounts for “his lawlessness, arrogance of power and impunity notwithstanding his immunity.”
“Now our state will bear the financial brunt of the governor’s executive rascality. We wish to appeal to the courts to make future law breakers who are conscious of the illegality of their actions while in official position to be personally liable also, this will teach many wayward anti-local government autonomy and democracy power drunk governors a big lesson,” Abass-Aleshinloye added.
The governor had offered to pay off the sacked council executives as a condition for out-of-court settlement but they rejected the offer, saying it would amount to a corrupt practice to collect money for a job not done and not ordered by a court of law.
They insisted on returning to office and their refusal made the case go all the way to the Supreme Court.