Court says Governor’s State of Osun is illegal

An Osun State High Court sitting in Ilesa has declared that the change of name to “State of Osun” by Gov. Rauf Aregbesola is illegal, null and void.

Delivering the judgment on Thursday, Justice Yinka Afolabi ruled that the law and its makers were unknown to the 1999 Constitution.

Delivering judgment which lasted more than one hour, the judge chided Aregbesola for deliberately and singlehandedly renaming the state, contrary to the known norms and the nation’s constitution.

He also declared that the makers of the law, who are currently serving as members of the State House of Assembly, were not sworn in as members of the “State of Osun House of Assembly” but as members of Osun State House of Assembly going by the seventh schedule of the constitution.

The judge said that since the creation of the state in 1991, previous governments used the constitutionally envisaged name of Osun State.

All the other 35 states of the federation, he added, had not deviated from the constitutional names given to them.

“The executive governor of the state changed the name in 2011. The renaming of a state goes further and deeper for anyone to singlehandedly do.

“To re-order the name of Osun State as “State of Osun” is hereby declared as illegal, null and void.
“On the oath of allegiance, I want to state that the Seventh Schedule is part of the law.

“It is not a mere draft or mere oath. It does not give room for any alteration. After deposing to an oath of office, you cannot turn around to do otherwise,’’ Afolabi stated.

The judge threw out all the arguments by the State Attorney-General, Dr Basiru Ajibola, who stood in as counsel for the governor and the state government.
He, however, granted all the seven prayers of the plaintiff.

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