Funmi Olaitan, Ibadan
Oyo State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Mr. Oluseun Abimbola, on Thursday, said local government elections scheduled for Saturday May 12, will hold as scheduled, saying that there will be restriction on movement between 8am and 3pm.
He said the supposed legal impediment towards the conduct of the election has been vacated as a Federal High Court in Ibadan (on Thursday) struck out the suit filed by some persons from Eruwa against Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC), and others challenging elections into newly created wards in the state.
Abimbola said in the suit FHC/IB/CS/47/2018 (Olugbenga Adeyemi & Others V INEC, OYSIEC and OYSG, the presiding judge, Mrs Joyce Abdul-Malik, held that the subject matter of the suit is clearly on the powers of OYSIEC being challenged by the plaintiffs, and not the powers of INEC joined as a federal agency.
“She agreed with the submissions of Oyo State Attorney General that the joinder of a federal agency will not automatically confer jurisdiction on the court if the subject matter contested is outside the jurisdiction of the Court.
“The court then held that the suit was not for the Federal High Court, but for the State High Court and accordingly struck out the suit in its entirety along with any previously made orders,” Abimbola explained.
He added, “It will be recalled that the court had earlier made an order of injunction restraining defendants from using the new ward delineation for the elections. That order is equally now vacated. With this ruling, the coast is clear for the exercise of democratic rights by all residents of the State to elect Chairmen and Councilors into all Local Government Councils, Local Council Development Area (LCDAs) and their constituent wards on Saturday, May 12.”
The state government then said there will be vehicular restriction between 8am and 3pm on Saturday May 12, 2018 during the conduct of the local government election in the state.
The State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Toursim, Mr. Toye Arulogun said students sitting for National Board of Technical Examination (NABTEB) with proof of evidence will be allowed to move to their examination centres.
He explained that election will hold in 33 local government areas and the 35 local council development areas, urging the general public to troop out enmasse to cast their votes for candidates of their choice.
He however appealed to citizens to bear with the commission on the restriction.