*OPEN LETTER TO THE PURPORTED LOCAL GOVERNMENT CARETAKER CHAIRMEN, BANKERS TO ALL OYO STATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCILS AND LCDAs, HLAs/DAGs/DFAs/F&GPCs, ALL LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCIL STAFF AND ALL OYO STATE CIVIL SERVANTS*
We are compelled to openly issue this letter of caution to the purported Caretaker Chairmen, Bankers to all Oyo state Local Government Councils, LCDAs, Civil Servants in our dear State and all Local Government Staff across our Council Secretariats, to strongly avoid being put under duress by the Oyo State Government to partake in another man’s sin, by not allowing themselves to be used to further and foist what is clearly an illegal and fraudulent administration over our Local Government Councils and LCDAs in Oyo state.
Over the past few months , we had consistently warned the Oyo State Government, and the Governor of Oyo State to respect the rule of law and desist from the path of illegality he was treading and being railroaded onto by politicians who are hellbent on dividing our Local Government Councils and constituencies as their political fiefdoms and their spoils of war.
1. It is no longer news that Governor Seyi Makinde has demonstrated no iota of respect for the rule of law and our courts, hence his serial breaches leading to an illegal appointment of an unlawful contraption called Caretaker Chairmen. We emphatically restate that there is no law in Oyo State creating a Caretaker Chairman’s office over any Local Government Council and LCDAs, hence the recent purported appointments of Caretakers is a flagrant display of irresponsibility, and mere jokes for public grandstanding with no force of law. It is therefore follows that any operation, directives, approvals, disbursements, decision or step taken by such usurpers occupying a nonexistent office can only be tantamount to an attempt to defraud the revenue of the Local Councils and LCDAs for which such persons and their collaborators shall be prosecuted. We expected the State Attorney General would have attempted to publicly rebut our emphatic position if it were legally rebuttable, but clearly rather than offer legal advice to guide the state, the learned professor seems to have outsourced his role as legal adviser to politicians who speak ignorantly on air about what they know nothing of. The management, administration and financing of Local Councils and LCDAs according to the constitution and the Supreme court in cases variously cited and now in the public domain, can only be validly approved, authorized, authenticated by documents executed by elected Local Government Chairmen. No authorization from any Caretaker Chairman of any Local Government Council or LCDA Caretakers nor their appointors is recognized under the current legal regime in our country. Any civil servant, bank or local government staff that honours such illegal approvals, directives or authorization from such persons therefore renders himself/herself liable to criminal prosecution for conspiracy and fraud.
2. We recognize that the Governor continues to act illegally hiding behind a cloak of constitutional immunity, while his political collaborators outside government who may be urging you all to embark on serial illegalities, will not be signatories to any official council document that may incriminate you and form the subject of investigations of this orchestrated fraud on the administration of Councils. Let us be clear that the revenue of our Local Government Councils and LCDAs for wages and emoluments are only payable to legally recognized employment positions and staff of Councils. Caretaker Chairmen are not legally recognized under our laws anymore and therefore are not staff of councils, nor are they entitled to collect any wage, emoluments or allowance from our Councils under any guise . It should be strongly noted that under our jurisprudence ignorance of the law has never been an excuse to criminal culpability. A claim of ignorance, or self imposed duress will not avail anyone of our bankers nor Local Government staff and civil servants who act in defiance of established laws to conspire with usurpers not provided for under any law in our land to rob our councils or pass themselves off as chairmen of offices that are both in law, and to your public knowledge not vacant nor conferred by law on any usurping caretaker. Any voucher signed by or authorized by Caretakers will be tantamount to attempted fraud.
3. As you are aware, the office of Chairmen of our Local Government councils and LCDAs are neither vacant nor available under our constitution for any caretaker to justifiably occupy either in law or fact. Therefore any individual who passes himself or herself off as Caretaker Chairman or seeks to issue directives to Local Government/LCDAs staff or civil servants or our bankers will along with such banker or civil servant, be acting fraudulently and in breach of clear legal pronouncements for which such persons and their stooges shall be prosecuted . Make no mistake about it, an armchair pronouncement of a Governor in a constitutional democracy, and a showmanship swearing in , are unknown to our law as currently constituted. It does not, and cannot by any stretch of political spin or imagination legalize what has been pronounced an illegality by the Supreme Court and the High Court of Oyo State.
4. We remind the Accountant General of Oyo State, the Ministry of Local Government and Council officials across Local Government Councils, that our Joint State/Local government accounts are under the legal regime established by law and the Court judgments, only operatable by the elected local government chairmen whose elections have neither been voided by any court nor by any law. You may wish to refer to the NFIU Guidelines on this. Similarly, we remain approving signatories with the Finance and General Purpose Committees of our Councils over Council funds due to each Council. We equally remain on record with our bankers the confirming signatories for payments out of local government accounts which cannot be changed without recourse to law. It was our valid return as elected Chairmen after contested elections that effectively qualified us in this role. A purportedly dismissive echo of lies by the Governor is empty in law as it is not pursuant to any law, nor in furtherance of any court pronouncement. We can boldly say it under our constitutional democracy that the illegal statements of a Governor does not become law not being legislation nor court order, hence you are not bound by such reckless statements and actions of the Governor that contradicts the law. We are not under military edicts,but under the Constitution sworn to by the Governor himself to defend and protect.
Therefore any document executed, or directed to be executed by the usurping Caretakers shall be illegal and a calculated fraud against the council. Similarly no bank, HLA/DAG/DFA can legally honour the signature of any Caretaker chairman on any confirmations nor disregard our approving signatories as elected chairmen otherwise such civil servant, staff, account officers, bank managers and their collaborators shall be liable for fraud on the revenue of state and criminal breach of trust.
5. If Governor Makinde continues to toe the path of recalcitrance, let him and his co-travellers continues and face whatever the outcome. Again we reemphasize, *DO NOT PARTAKE IN THEIR CRIMES AGAINST THE STATE* as the law does not excuse criminality by reason of ignorance or even duress, under these circumstances.
It is our appeal to you all to depart from the path of illegality being urged upon you, and be courageous to save yourselves from impending culpability if found wanting. This is an appeal, but make no mistake about it, the law will take its course against every infringement and criminality irrespective of who perpetrates it.
We trust you will ponder over these truths, seek legal counsel from your personal attorneys to be properly guided, and ensure you are not sucked into the crucible Governor Makinde has heated up in our state.
*YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!*
Prince Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye
Pastor Jesutoye Oluyinka
Edo Guber Race: APC sets to screen Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu, 4 others
Ahead of the June 22 party exercise, the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Friday announced that no fewer than six governorship aspirants would be screened for the party’s primary election to elect its governorship candidate in Edo State.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu made this known in a statement.
Issa-Onilu revealed that the six aspirants have bought, completed, and submitted the party’s expression of interest and nomination forms.
These aspirants include the incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Dr Pius Odubu, Chris Ogiemwonyi, Osaro Obazee, and Matthew Iduoriyekemwen.
The party’s publicist also informed that the APC is committed to ensuring due diligence and transparency in the screening exercise and learning from its recent shocking experiences.
In a bid to avoid any lapses in the process, he said the party has made the submitted information and documents of the governorship aspirants available to its members and the public for verification of claims.
He explained that this was also necessary to support the screening panel with information or any objection to the claims contained in the submission by the aspirants.
“Consequently, the various submissions will be displayed at the Party’s National Secretariat in Abuja and in Benin City, the Edo State capital from Monday 8th to Tuesday 9th June 2020 for claims and objections.
The statement read, “We are inviting party members and indeed members of the public to assist the screening committee by scrutinising the information, credentials and documents provided by the governorship aspirants and availing the Screening Committee of counter and correct information, if applicable”.
He informed that the APC had released its timetable and schedule of activities for the conduct of the 2020 governorship primary elections in Edo State, in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) guidelines.
He added that sales of nomination and expression of interest forms had taken place at the APC National Secretariat between May 20 and June 2, 2020.
The APC spokesman stated that the last day for submission of completed forms and accompanying documents was June 3, and publication of claims and objections would end on Tuesday next week before the screening of the aspirants on Wednesday and Thursday next week.
According to him, this would be followed by Screening Appeal on June 12 before the primary election and election appeal scheduled for June 22 and 24, respectively.
Breaking News: Ex-Governor Ajimobi’s Aide, Aboderin Joins PDP
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
Crisis brews in Oyo APC over alleged plan to expel Shittu
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.
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.
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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