Seun Abimbola, the immediate past Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State, has urged the state government to obey the directive of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on the reinstatement of elected local government officials in the state.
Abimbola, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan on Friday, said Malami’s letter to Oyo State Government was also meant for all the states where elected local government officials were removed.
He argued that Oyo was not the only state in Nigeria that the AGF sent the letter to, contrary to the rumour making the rounds that the Federal Government was meddling in the affairs of the state.
The former commissioner added that it was the Federal Government’s way of trying to ensure that everybody adhered strictly to the rule of law.
Abimbola said: “The letter, which the Oyo State Government is currently talking about, was not written to the state alone; it was also written to Imo State and the state has complied, even before Emeka Ihedioha was removed as governor.
“That same letter went to all other states where validly-elected local government chairmen were unconstitutionally removed by their governors.
“The law did not just single out Oyo State; rather, it was meant for those states where they had truncated elected local government officials so that there would be a permanent end to the illegality.
“The same thing happened when impeachment of governors became the order of the day in Nigeria.
“When the case of former Governor Rashidi Ladoja got to the Supreme Court, there was an end to such rubbish; it put an end to all other illegal impeachments.”
Abimbola pointed out that the Peoples Democratic Party-led government, under Governor Seyi Makinde, had breached several court pronouncements, including the Supreme Court judgment of 2019.
According to him, once the apex court makes a pronouncement on any matter, such a pronouncement becomes a law in respect of any similar suits across Nigeria.
He stressed that the 2017 judgment was in respect of the illegal dissolution of local governments in Ekiti State, adding that the same judgment was applicable in the case of Oyo.
He described the current outburst as mere political talk which had nothing to do with the issue of law.
“Therefore, Malami was very right with his letter,” Abimbola remarked.
When contacted for his own comment, the Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Ibadan branch, Mr Johnson Akintayo, said it was unlawful for him to make remarks on any suit before the court.