Bayo Ojo, a former Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice in Oyo State, has advised the All Progressives Congress to challenge its exclusion in the May 22 local government election in the state.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan on Friday, Ojo said any attempt to conduct the election would be illegal and a travesty of justice.
He said it was inappropriate and a violation of court process for the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission to put up notices of election after the case was filed at the Supreme Court.
He said: “After arguments and adjournment at the Supreme Court for judgment, OSIEC came up with the notice for election, an action that is very wrong and unconstitutional.
“When a matter is before the court of law, neither of the parties involved must do anything to ambush whatever decision that court would make.
“As a result, all notices put out by OSIEC are ineffective, illegal and unconstitutional.”
The legal expert further urged the APC to write OSIEC chairman, incumbent Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice as well as the state Chief Judge, stating their intention to file the suit though judiciary workers are on strike.
Ojo said: “People should learn to abide by the law and should not be law breakers.”
Another Ibadan-based legal practitioner, Jubril Mohammed, said except the court stated otherwise, nobody could prevent OSIEC from going ahead with the forthcoming local council election.
Mohammed said: “APC can approach the court if they feel that there is an infraction in the process that excluded them, especially given that there was an impending judgment that they feel might set aside all the processes put in place by the OSIEC.
“Except they approach the Federal High Court, the state High Courts are presently on strike, I am afraid, the election might go ahead.”
NAN reports that sacked APC Chairmen and Councillors in the state councils under the umbrella of Association of Local Government of Nigeria, Oyo State had challenged their removal by Governor Seyi Makinde shortly after assumption of office in May 2019.
The case went from the High Court to the Court of Appeal and finally the Supreme Court that ruled in favour of the elected council officers, describing their sack as illegal.
Consequently, the court directed that all arrears of salaries, allowances and other entitlements should be paid to the officers for the duration of their term in office.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of OYSIEC, Abiola Olagunju (SAN), had on Wednesday during a radio programme in Ibadan stated that the APC through its lawyers had written to the commission signifying its intention to participate in the election.
Olagunju, however said the commission’s management would meet on Friday to deliberate on the letter and give its response.