By GBENGA ARIYIBI
Ado-Ekiti – AN Ado-Ekiti High Court has ordered the reinstatement of members of the dissolved State Independent Electoral Commission, SIEC, put in place by the sacked governor of the state, Segun Oni.
Governor Kayode Fayemi had on assumption of office on October 22, 2010, dissolved the five-member SIEC on the premises that its constitution lacked legal backing.
Fayemi had contended that the ousted governor Oni, who swore them into office, had been removed by the court, arguing that the dissolution became imperative since the Appeal Court in Ilorin had declared Oni’s election null and void.
Commissioner for Information, Mr. Funminiyi Afuye, who reacted on behalf of the government said, the government would yesterday file a notice of appeal and stay of execution against the judgment.
It will be recalled that dissatisfied with the dissolution, the SIEC Chairman, Major-Gen Kayode Oni and four others approached the court to declare the action of the governor unlawful, unconstitutional, oppressive and ultra-vires.
In his judgment, Justice John Adeyeye declared that Gov. Fayemi acted ultra-vires by sacking the commission members via radio announcements. He said Fayemi had no powers whatsoever to sack the commission members, whose tenure was put at five years by the Constitution.
The judge resolved all issues raised by the claimants in their favour and also granted their reliefs, including but not limited to their return to office, not withstanding whether the positions had been filled or whether claimants had taken other appointments elsewhere.
The judge had earlier in his judgment dismissed the two preliminary objections raised by counsel to the defendants, Dayo Akinlaja, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, who is also a defendant in the suit.