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LG crisis: Court urges Govt, sacked chairmen to explore amicable resolution

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An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan, the state capital, on Wednesday adjourned till 21st February, 2020 the suit filed by the State Government in which it is seeking to restrain the sacked council chairmen from forcefully taking over the council secretariats in the state.

The sacked Council Chairmen under the aegis of Association of Local Government of Nigeria(ALGON) had sought to take control of the council secretariats by relying on a letter written by the Attorney General of the Federation,Abubakar Malami (SAN) and another by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, urging them to put effect to a judgement of the Supreme Court on local government administration in Ekiti State.

The Court presided by Justice Mahmood Abbas, lauded the parties for considering the option of amicable resolution of the matter, urging them to exercise maturity while discussing the option of amicable settlement.

Ruling on the application to allow for the parties to further explore the out-of-court settlement option, Justice Abbas adjourned the matter till February 21, warning all parties to see what they could do to arrive at an amicable resolution.

Oyo State Government and ALGON had, at the last adjourned date on February 5, 2020, declared the readiness to explore an out-of-court settlement, with the Court adjoining till February 12 to allow for that option.

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The parties had, on Wednesday, approached the court to report the outcome of the out-of-court settlement option, which was agreed upon at the February 5, 2020 sitting.

In their presentations, counsels to the claimant/applicant(the State Government), Dr. Akin Onigbinde (SAN) and the counsels to the defendants(ALGON and others), reported on the meetings held to explore the out-of-court settlement option, noting that a settlement could not be reached on the matter so far.

Dr. Onigbinde stated that though the parties could not reach a conclusion on the amicable resolution of the dispute, the process could not be described as having failed, because some proposals were made, which the Government looked at and registered its difficulty in accepting.

“There was no failure of the first attempt. There is always a progression in this type of negotiation. It is not the day you start that you conclude. Actually, we have made some progress because there were certain proposals made, which we have looked at. We have registered our difficulty in accepting them. Now, we have another opportunity to look at those proposals again. So, it cannot be characterised as a failure. I will consider it as a stage in the process of what we are trying to achieve,” he said.

The counsel to the sacked chairmen, Mr. Kunle Sobaloju, maintained that though the parties could not come to an amicable resolution at the two meetings between last Saturday and Monday, his clients were not opposed to the out-of-court-settlement option.

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He added that he would not be opposing the application to further explore that option, because the resolution of the matter would be in the interest of the state.

The Court lauded the parties for considering the option of amicable settlement, urging them to exercise maturity while discussing the option of settlement.

The presiding judge maintained that parties in the matter were stakeholders in the Oyo State project, noting that they would have to take the most valuable decision in the matter with a view to amicably resolving the crisis in the interest of the state.

He added that all parties in the matter must exercise a lot of maturity while discussing amicable resolution, noting that settlement “means a little compromise here and there.

He said: “I did say during the last adjournment that all parties in this case are stakeholders in the Oyo State project… So, all parties must exercise a lot of maturity. The only duty of this court is to listen to all facts as you bring them and apply the law. The law is there, nobody can change it. The court cannot change the law. But the most valuable decision in this case will be taken by the parties.”

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Politics

Breaking News: Ex-Governor Ajimobi’s Aide, Aboderin Joins PDP

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) nominee for the Ibadan Southeast/Northeast Federal House of Representatives in Oyo state during the 2019 general election, Deji Aboderin on Sunday dumped his party for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

Aboderin was the Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to former Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

He alleged that the party leadership worked against his electoral victory in the last election

Details later

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Crisis brews in Oyo APC over alleged plan to expel Shittu

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Fresh crisis is brewing in the Oyo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), following  alleged moves to expel former Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, from the party.

Leaders of the party in the state loyal to former Governor Abiola Ajimobi, were alleged of mounting pressure on executives of the party in his Ward 2 and Saki West local government area to expel him.

It was gathered that events leading to this began when four APC local government Chairmen representing Forum of APC Local Government Chairmen in Oyo State, paid a visit to the former Minister Shittu about a month ago preaching the need for reconciliation in the party which he did not object to.

A source at the meeting however disclosed that Shittu told the chairmen that to achieve genuine reconciliation there are conditions which must be met in order for the aggrieved members to have a sense of belonging.

The first condition which the former Minister said must be met according to the source was that members of the party particularly those who belonged to the Unity Forum group who purchased nomination forms during the last state congress but not allowed to be part of the party primaries must be refunded their money.

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Other condition was the dissolution of the party executives at all levels and to be reconstituted at the ratio of 50/50 between members loyal to Ajimobi called SENACO and the aggrieved members who belonged to Unity Forum which Shittu insisted were the only ones who bought forms during the last state congress.

The former Minister also said the state Chairman of the party must come from the Unity Forum, noting that the SENACO group has continued to produce the Chairman since the formation of the party in the state.

The source added that the party chairmen then assured Shittu that since they had the blessings of the leadership of the party in the state for their meeting with him and that they would deliver his message which they agreed with in totality to the right quarters.

“It was a frank discussions that the former Minister had with the party chairmen who told him that the meeting had the blessings of the leadership of the party in the state and that the conditions he gave were important and necessary for genuine reconciliation in the party.

“They then assured him that they would get back to him after reporting back to the leadership of the party with a promise that the meeting with him was a step in the right direction”, the source explained.

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He added that trouble started when the party chairmen reported back to the leadership of the party in the state who accused them of trying to hand over the party to Shittu and his group in Unity Forum with the conditions that they agreed with him at the detriment of members in SENACO group.

” To stop further agitation for genuine reconciliation by Shittu, a marching order was given to the executives of the party in his ward, Ward 2 and Saki West local government area to expel him from the party which the executives resisted, insisting that the former Minister is an important and reliable member who has contributed immensely to the growth and development of the party”.

 

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Not Yet Uhuru As Oyo Speaker  Still Under Impeachment Web 

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In spite of the intervention of former Governor Rashidi Ladoja to douse the impeachment tension in the Oyo State House of Assembly, it is difficult to conclude that plans to remove the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin have been finally laid to rest.

After close to a year that the Speaker, Ogundoyin has been in the saddle of  affairs in the state House of Assembly, there had been clandestine moves by some aggrieved members to boot the number three citizen of the state out of the power game.

Very recently, it became clear that there was something more serious to the aggrieved lawmakers than mere dousing tension. The dissatisfied camp are seriously strategizing on how to execute the impeachment process.

It was reliably gathered that the crux of the matter was their  loyalty to Governor Seyi Makinde which they claimed was not yielding any ‘fruitful benefits’ as expected.

Sources  told Mega Icon Magazine that the lawmakers are silently grumbling as they find it extremely difficult to service the loans they took from financial institutions. The sources revealed that the least loan obtained from these banks was twenty million naira (N20,000,000).

Unfortunately, before they agreed to a 30 per cent cut in their monthly allocation to assist the state government in its bid to pay salaries of workers as COVID-19 affects global economy, their monthly salaries and allowances was over two million naira.

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And; the deduction in support of COVID-19 include salaries and other monthly allowances.

“Let me shock you my brother, after deduction for the loans obtained, most of these lawmakers are left with only fifty thousand naira (N50,000) monthly and they have constituents to attend to in their various constituencies. No official car, constituency allowance to even facilitate any meaningful project.

“Now that they have agreed to a 30% cut in their monthly allocation, its really going to be hard. Thus, they feel that the Speaker, Ogundoyin who is aware of their plight has not been protecting their interests before Governor Makinde. They lamented of been sidelined by the Speaker and funny enough, the PDP controls this present House of Assembly conveniently.

“To them, Ogundoyin isn’t fit to lead the Assembly”, one of the sources disclosed.

Speaking further, he continued, “the Speaker is also perceived as an enemy by members whom were believed to be working with some people at the corridors of power. These people are loyal to the governor and are behind the alleged impeachment of the Deputy Governor, Engr. Raufu Olaniyan.

“They believed Ogundoyin is also doing the deputy governor’s bid and showing him the exit door would be the best option “.

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Interestingly, the new political twist in the Oyo State House of Assembly was to seek a revenge for the lawmaker representing Ibadan North East State Constituency I, Hon. Olagoke Akinajo, who was unceremoniously removed by the Speaker as the Chairman, House Committee on Public Works and Transport.

His colleagues, particularly, lawmakers from Ibadan land are ready to confront the Speaker on his decision which they considered as embarrassing. Olagoke is an Ibadan Mogaji.

However, other lawmakers that are also loyal to the Speaker, Hon. Ogundoyin are closely monitoring the political trend. Obviously, it is not yet Uhuru as pro and anti Ogundoyin still have an unsettled business to resolve.

But, only time will tell.

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