By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Friday declared that no court has the power to stop the conduct of the local government election billed for May 12 in the 33 local government areas, 35 local council development areas in Oyo State.
The governor who stated this while addressing members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) at a sensitization mega rally held at the State Party Secretariat, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, insisted that the election would be held in all the LGAs, LCDAs and wards in and across Oyo state, adding, “the constitution has made it clear that no court has power over an election.”.
Apparently speaking on the Wednesday’s ruling of a Federal High Court, sitting in Ibadan, stopping the conduct of local government election in Oyo state, the governor said the ruling by Justice J.O. Abdulmalik did not stop the local government poll, but only restrained the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) from conducting elections into newly created wards by the commission in Ibarapa East Local Government Area, following issues arising from ward delimitation.
“There is this speculation spreading across the state that the council poll will not hold as a result of the court judgment. The court has not stopped us from conducting the election, except in some newly created wards. But we are telling the court that it is in the constitution that no court has power over an election. We are telling you that the wards mentioned and those that were not mentioned, we are going to conduct election there.” he said.
Governor Ajimobi added, “we are in touch with the aggrieved members of the party that had gone to court. I want to assure you that the election will hold across the state, even in the disputed wards.”
On the APC ward congress holding this Saturday, Governor Ajimobi urged the party members across Oyo state to be law abiding and f ensure the success of the congress, as the present administration in Oyo state will not tolerate hooliganism, saying any one that foments trouble will be handed over to the police.
He however charged all APC members in Oyo state to go back to their local government areas and wards to reconcile and as well be ready defend themselves in case some people want to attack them during the congress, saying: “If they slap you once, slap them back six times.”
Governor Ajimobi advised the APC members to show understanding with their existing executive members willing to continue in office and that if a peaceful agreement cannot be reached, “go to the field. It is not automatic to be a member of the executive.”
New Nigerian recalled that Justice J.O Abdulmalik of a Federal High Court, sitting in Ibadan, had granted an interlocutory injunction restraining OYSIEC from conducting election into the new wards created by the commission in Ibarapa East.
in a suit filed before the court by five elders from Eruwa in Ibarapa East Local Government Area with number FHC/IB/ES/47/2018 against the Independent National Electoral Commission, OYSIEC, Oyo State Governor and the Attorney-General of the state.
The five APC elders in the suit prayed the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants, their servants, agents or privies from using, relying on or employing the use of any electoral areas or wards and polling stations for the purpose of any elections in Oyo State, including local government elections, other than the electoral areas or wards and polling stations created by the INEC, pending the determination of the substantive action as well as to declare as illegal, null and void, the creation of the electoral areas or wards by OYSIEC in Ibarapa East council area of the state.
Already, the Federal High court has adjourned the substantive suit to May 28, 2018, for hearing.