The Oyo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has filed a suit asking the High Court to declare the May 22 and May 26 local government elections in the state and subsequent swearing-in of Chairmen, councillors as illegal, unlawful, in breach of the rule of law, unconstitutional and void.
In the suit number, M/272/2021, sighted by the Nigerian Tribune, the APC is also seeking a declaration that the release of guidelines for Chairmanship and councillorship election, the timetable and every other election process carried out by the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) are unlawful, a breach of the rule of law, invalid, unconstitutional and of no effect because they were done during the pendency of Suit No. 1/347/2019, Appeal No. CA/B/300/2019 and Appeal No. SC556/2020.
After an initial inability to file the suit owing to the suspended strike of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), the suit was later filed at the suspension of the strike while the OYSIEC, Governor of Oyo State and Attorney General of Oyo state were served last week.
Joined as applicants in the case are Chief Akin Oke, Mojeed Olaoya, Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye and 10 others while the OYSIEC, Governor of Oyo state and Attorney General of Oyo state are respondents.
Also, the APC is seeking a declaration that the 35 local council development areas in the state are a creation of law, pursuant to section 7 of the 1999 constitution, section 4 of the local government (further amendment) law 2016 and recognised by judgments in suit No. 347/2019 and Appeal No. SC556/2020, hence constitute valid administrative structures of the local government system as required by the 1999 constitution.
To this end, the party is seeking a declaration that the OYSIEC is obliged to conduct elections into the offices of Chairman and Councillors in the 35 local council development areas being a creation of law.
The applicants are also seeking a declaration that the imposition of the payment of nomination fees of N250,000 for chairmanship and N100,000 for councillorship candidates for the local government election and subsequent cancellation of payment after the deadline without an extension of the period for nomination to allow their participation and another political party amount to a deliberate disenfranchisement.
Aside from seeking an order setting aside the May 22 and May 29 local government elections and nullifying in the swearing-in of the Chairmen/councillors, the applicants are also seeing an order that OYSIEC should immediately commence the process of conducting elections into all local government council areas and local council development areas in the state.
The applicants are also asking the court to determine whether the release of guidelines for chairmanship and councillorship election, notice, time table of the election during the pendency of suit No. 347/2019 and Appeal No. SC556/2020 are not subjudice and a breach of rule of law.
According to the party, the decision of the OYSIEC to proceed with the local government elections of May 22 and May 26 amounts to serial unconstitutional actions and illegalities and utter disregard of the rule of law.
Generally, the suit is premised on section 7 of Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), Local Government Law of Oyo State 2001 (as amended) by the Local Government (Further Amendment) Law of Oyo State 2016 and Section 10 of the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission Law, Laws of Oyo State, 2000.