…says he has constitutional right to set up commission

Ibadan – Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has appealed against the decision of the Oyo State High Court, Ibadan division which declared the Justice Akintunde Boade Review Commission unconstitutional, illegal, null, void and of no effect.

Oyo state governor, Abiola Ajimobi

The governor filed the appeal at the Court of Appeal of Nigeria, Ibadan Judicial Division on Monday, Jan. 22.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that Justice Olajumoke Aiki of Oyo State High Court on Friday, Jan. 19 declared the Boade-led review commission set up by Oyo State Government as illegal and unconstitutional.

Aiki delivered the judgment in the suit filed by the Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, former Gov. Rasheed Ladoja, challenging the decision of Ajimobi to set up the Justice Boade review commission.

She ruled that Sections 10, 12 and 25 of the Oyo State Chiefs Law do not empower the governor to set up the commission.

Ajimobi, in one of the 11 grounds of appeal filed by his lawyers, led by Yusuf Ali (SAN), seeks an order setting aside the judgment of the Oyo state High Court.

Ladoja and Justice Akintunde Boade (RTD) (for himself and on behalf of all members of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry on Olubadan Chieftaincy) were listed as Respondents 1 & 2.

According to the appeal, “the governor also seeks an order upholding the Appellant’s Preliminary Objection raised against the 1st Respondent and an order dismissing the case of the 1st respondent in its entirety.”

The governor contends that the learned Judge erred in law and totally misinterpreted sections 10, 12 and 25 of the Oyo State Chiefs Law .

He says the Justice Aiki introduced extraneous provisions which are not contained in the law, thereby excluding the general scheme and the general provisions of the law.

Ajimobi argues that in the interpretation of a law, the court cannot interpret the section in isolation of each other but must interpret them holistically.

“The court in interpreting the provisions of a statute has no right to read into words that are not in the statute with a view to arriving at its conclusion.

“And that there is no provision in the Oyo State Chiefs Law that takes away the rights of the Governor from instituting a commission of Inquiry to look into issues on matters on which the House of Assembly could make law,” he said.

The governor in another ground of appeal contends that the judge erred in law and totally misinterpreted the provisions of the Chiefs Law of Oyo State in coming to the conclusion.

He says the judge erred by agreeing with the 1st respondent that only indigenes of Ibadan could be made members of the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Governor to look into Ibadan chieftaincy stool.

“The governor has absolute discretion under section 25 of the Chiefs Law of Oyo State as to the membership of any Commission of inquiry, including the one dealing with Ibadan Chieftaincy.

“The Learned trial judge took a very narrow view in interpreting the provisions of section 25 of the Chiefs Law of Oyo State.

“The law donates wide discretionary powers to the Governor and the court cannot take away such powers donated by law under any guise.

Ajimobi contends that from the facts and the Law, the 1st Respondent has no locus standi to prosecute the case.

In the circumstance, the case was only of pure academic value and hypothetical, he says.

“The Learned Trial Judge erred in law and came to wrong conclusion by holding that, the governor has no power to set up a Commission of Inquiry on the issue of Beaded Crown wearing Obas and Coronet Crown Wearing Obas.

“This is contrary to the provisions of the Chiefs Law of Oyo State which donates such powers and authority to the governor,” he says.

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