By Ise-Oluwa Ige
A Federal high court sitting in Abuja yesterday issued an interim order restraining the Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel from dissolving the Ijebu-Ife Local Government Council on the account of the mayhem which killed an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Omolodun Oladokun and several others.
The trial judge, Justice Garuba Umar gave the order, exparte, yesterday following the legal arguments canvassed by Mr. Olagoke Fakunle, SAN, counsel to the Chairman of Ijebu-Ife Local Government, Mr. Tunde Oladunjoye.
That was moments after the judge had okayed aÂ request by Oladunjoye who is the plaintiff in the case to formally apply for an order of mandamus to review the actions of the governor with regards to the probe of the disturbance and to compel the Inspector General of Police to investigate the Ijebu-Ife killings
The high court also ordered the Justice Kayode Somolu-led Judicial Commission of Enquiry probing the immediate and remote causes of the disturbances at Ijebu-Ife not to commence sitting on the issue pending determination of the motion on notice.
Besides, Justice Umar also summoned all the parties involved in the case to appear before him on 30 December, to show cause as to why all other reliefs sought by Oladunjoye should not be granted.
Meantime, the interim orders already granted in the matter are to subsist till 30 December, this year when all the defendants in the case, including the Governor are expected to appear before the court. Hearing in the main case was adjourned to 5 January, 2010.
Oladunjoye and all the councillors of the Ijebu-Ife Local Government Council had approached the Abuja Federal high court sitting in Maitama, asking the court to declare that the Governor of Ogun State has no constitutional power to set up a tribunal of enquiry headed by Justice Kayode Somolu (rtd) to investigate a crime, an assignment which falls within the statutory functions of the Inspector General of Police.
They also asked the court to declare that the tribunal of enquiry set up by the Governor of Ogun State and headed by Justice Somolu is unconstitutional by its terms of reference.
Other reliefs sought by the plaintiffs include: â€œA declaration that the governor of Ogun State is disqualified from appointing members of a panel of inquiry into any upheaval in Ogun State with potential connotations when his government is itself accused of sponsoring violence for political purposes in various parts of the state and might himself be implicated in the fracas and killings at Ijebu-East Local Government, by reason of the rule of natural justice and by virtue of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
â€œA declaration that by reason of the accusations made against the Ogun State Administration by various groups and citizens concerning commissioning of armed killer squads, sponsoring political violence against perceived opponents, the Ogun State Government is itself a suspect withÂ regard to the terms of reference of the panel of enquiry set up and the panel so appointed by the Ogun state Government can therefore not be impartial and ensure that justice is seen to be done.
â€œA declaration that the Ogun State Administration of Gbenga Daniel has no power to make deductions under any guise from the allocations of the Ijebu East Local Government Area and is therefore obliged to refund all such deductions made for whatever purpose and under whatever guise including the unconstitutional Joint Account Allocation Committee.
â€œA declaration that the Joint AccountÂ Allocation Committee of the Ogun State Government set up by the Ogun State Government is illegal, unconstitutional and has no right or power to make deductions from the allocations of Local Government Authorities within the state including the Ijebu-East Local Government Authority.
â€œAn order of injunction compelling the Inspector General of Police to carry out his constitutional function to investigate the crimes of murder, arson etc committed at Ijebu-Ife, Ota, Shagamu and elsewhere in Ogun State Nigeria whereat several persons, citizens of Nigeria including one Abiodun Oyewole at Osi in Ado/Ota, ACP Omolodun at Ijebu-Ife and 200 others were murdered.
An order of injunction prohibiting Justice Somolu from acting as chairman of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry and members of the commission from embarking upon any inquiry, among others.