Osun State Commissioners Challenge Governor Adeleke Seek N2Bn In Court

Osun State Commissioners Challenge Governor Adeleke, Seek N2bn in Court

In Osun State, members of four recently dissolved statutory commissions have initiated legal action against Governor Ademola Adeleke, filing lawsuits amounting to N2bn at the National Industrial Court in Ibadan, Oyo State. This development follows Governor Adeleke’s announcement on October 30, 2023, dissolving key commissions including the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission, Judicial Service Commission, Civil Service Commission, and House of Assembly Service Commission.

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The plaintiffs, who were members of these commissions, argue that their dismissal occurred before the conclusion of their five-year tenure, which was set to end in 2025. Each of the four separate lawsuits demands N500m in damages from the governor. Represented by their counsel, Muhydeen Adeoye, the dismissed members are seeking a declaration that the dissolution of the commissions and the non-payment of their salaries and other entitlements are illegal.

The lawsuits also named the Osun State Attorney General, the Commissioner for Finance, and the state House of Assembly as defendants. Specific claims include demands for reinstatement and compensation. For instance, Segun Oladitan, former OSSIEC Chairman, and six members are seeking reinstatement to complete their tenure. Similarly, Babafemi Osunro and others from the Civil Service Commission, along with Awolola Abiodun and colleagues from the House of Assembly Service Commission, are challenging their dismissal. Adebayo Salmon and three others from the Judicial Service Commission are also contesting their removal.

The claimants’ counsel, Adeoye, has confirmed that all parties have been served and are awaiting a court date for the hearing.

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Editorial

At Yohaig NG, we are closely monitoring the unfolding legal battle in Osun State, where former members of key statutory commissions are challenging Governor Ademola Adeleke’s decision to dissolve their bodies. This situation underscores the delicate balance between political authority and the independence of statutory bodies.

The legal action taken by these former commission members raises important questions about governance and the rule of law in Nigeria. It is crucial for government actions, especially those involving the dissolution of statutory bodies, to adhere to legal frameworks and respect the tenure of appointed officials. The abrupt dismissal of these members, if found to violate their terms of appointment, could set a concerning precedent for governance in Nigeria.

This case also highlights the need for clear and transparent processes in the appointment and dismissal of members of statutory bodies. Ensuring that these processes are fair, legal, and transparent is essential for maintaining public trust in government institutions.

As this case progresses, it will be important to watch how the courts interpret the legality of the governor’s actions. The outcome could have significant implications for the balance of power between state executives and independent commissions. We hope that this case will reinforce the principles of good governance and the rule of law in Nigeria.

Did You Know?

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  • Statutory Commissions in Nigeria: Nigeria has a range of statutory commissions, each with specific mandates, playing crucial roles in governance and administration.
  • Tenure of Commissioners: The tenure of commissioners in statutory commissions is often fixed to ensure independence and prevent undue political influence.
  • Legal Framework: The legal framework governing statutory commissions in Nigeria is designed to protect their autonomy and ensure they function effectively.
  • Governance Challenges: Nigeria, like many countries, faces challenges in balancing political authority with the independence of statutory bodies.
  • Impact of Legal Precedents: Court rulings on cases like these can set important precedents for governance and the rule of law in Nigeria.

Author

  • Celima Sulaimon

    Celima enjoys cooking, driving, and taking care of her two kids. She has a passion for cooking and loves to make different dishes that are healthy and delicious. Celima spends most of her time in the kitchen when she's not at work or with her children. When she's not cooking, Celima likes to drive around town and explore new places on an adventurous road trips with friends or family. But, when caring for her loved ones, no job is too big or small for this go-getter! Email Celima @ celima.sulaimon@yohaig.ng

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