The Court of Appeal sitting in Akure on Wednesday dismissed an appeal filed by former Chairmen of Local Governments in Ondo State over their removal from office two years ago.
The appellate court also affirmed the June 4, 2009 judgement of Justice Nelson Adeyanju of an Akure High Court which declared as “illegal and unconstitutional’’ the December 15, 2007 local government election which brought them into office.
The former council bosses were sacked by Gov. Olusegun Mimiko on March 4, 2009, an action which they challenged at the lower court.
Dissatisfied with the outcome at the lower court, they headed for the appellate court seeking an order to set aside the dissolution and for their reinstatement.
In a judgment by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, read by Justice Chinwe Iyizoba, it was held that the appeal failed on the ground of non-compliance with the provisions of the laws guiding the conduct of local government election.
“It is clear that the appellants gave only 9 days notice instead of the 150 days prescribed by the Electoral Act. 150 and 9 days cannot be read to be the same.
“The lower court is now vindicated by taking that standpoint on the matter. Since we are bound by Supreme Court decisions, it is hereby affirmed that the local government election conducted on December 15, 2007 which brought the appellants to office was not only illegal, unconstitutional, but null and void.”
The court which further held that the appellants agreed in their submissions that their tenure had lapsed in December 2010 due to the function of time, ruled that they were not entitled to any benefit of the office.
The court also said that there was nothing that could be done about what they had earlier earned as chairmen.
“In conclusion, the main appeal lacks merit, fails in its entirety and it is hereby dismissed accordingly.
“The judgment of the lower court is affirmed. But there will be no order as to costs.” (NAN)