Local government administration got a victory on Friday as the Supreme Court, in two judgement ruled in their favour and explained that state governors have no power to sack democratically elected chairmen and councillors.
While giving the judgement, the apex court noted that the dissolution of the 34 LGs in 2015 by the Kastina State Governor, Aminu Masari and the 2019 sack of the chairman and councillors across the 33 LGs and 35 Local Council Development Areas in Oyo State by Governor Seyi Makinde was in breach of Section 7(1) of the 1999 Constitution.
The Supreme Court ruled that Makinde and Masari acted unconstitutionally by suspending democratically elected Local Government Councils based on party differences.
The two judgments were on the appeals filed by sacked LG chairmen and councillors from both states.
Justice Adamu Jauro, who was the presiding judge in the appeal of Kastina, ruled that Masari acted Ultra Vires by sacking these chairman and councillors on allegation of financial misappropriation of councils’ funds.
In the case of Oyo State, Justice Ejembi Eko, in the lead judgment, said Makinde acted “invidiously and in contemptous disregard of a High Court judgement” when he forcefully dissolved the local government cabinet by the time he assumed office.
Following this, Justice Eko on Friday set aside the Ibadan Court of Appeal which affirmed Makinde sack noting that the lower court was wrong when it ruled that there was no reasonable cause of action in the suit the appellants filed to prevent the sack.