ENetSuD says Kwara Govt is notorious for telling lies in Court

• … insists Gov. AbdulRahman is desperate to kill LG system
• … lauds FG for taking pro-people steps on LG autonomy

Our attention was called to the position of the Kwara State Government (KWSG) in the response to the suit filed at the Supreme Court of Nigeria by the Attorney-General of the Federation (FG), which was published by the Punch, Vanguard and some other Newspapers.
The Attorney General of Kwara State, Senior Ibrahim-Sulyman, was reported to have told the Supreme Court to dismiss the FG suit because, according to the reasoning of himself and that of the Government / Governor he represents, “granting Local Government Council (LG) autonomy will further impoverish most Nigerians who are downtrodden in the LG areas”.
The KWSG was also reported to have told the Supreme Court that the FG has no power to withhold the LG allocations in states that do not have democratically-elected LGs, citing the previous judgments between the FG and the duo of Abia and Lagos states. This is the same KWSG that knew about the judicial precedents of the Supreme Court which clearly declared that it is unconstitutional and illegal to suspend or remove democratically-elected LG councils and replace them with illegal Transition Implementation Committees (TICs). The Governor, through his Attorney-General, tried to distinguish the well-decided case laws of the Supreme Court in other states across the country and insisted that it did not apply to Kwara state. But the same Governor is now relying on Supreme Court’s previous judgments in cases of Abia and Lagos states. The hypocritical posture and the double-standards of Kwara state Governor AbdulRahman and his government are totally against the public interest, and are calculated attempts to bury the LG system they already killed in Kwara state.
The mother of the lies reportedly told to the Supreme Court by AbdulRahman-led KWSG was where they allegedly argued that the state was not in the habit of truncating democracy at the LG level as alleged by the FG. However, we wish to remind the public that the first landmark achievement of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq following his inauguration was his dissolution of democratically-elected LG council on 18th June, 2019 following the conspiratorial resolution of the Danladi-led Kwara State House of Assembly. He then replaced them with illegal TICs, who corruptly occupied the LG council offices for over three years with impunity. He also defied Courts’ Orders and Judgments and refused to follow the rule of Law on the LG issues. How else could he have demonstrated his habit of truncating democracy at the LG level?
AbdulRahman-led KWSG also lied to the Supreme Court by submitting that the earlier scheduled LG elections in the state could not be held due to protracted litigation over the tenure of the Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWSIEC). Kwarans are fully aware that Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq unlawfully dissolved KWSIEC in August 2019, barely less than three months after his assumption of office as a Governor in 2019. We wonder who purportedly scheduled the earlier LG election that he referred to. We expect that the Governor should be proud of his illegal and anti-democratic actions rather than deceiving the apex Court.
The lies continued when the Governor, through his Attorney-General, told the Supreme Court that “the state had rolled out the schedule for the elections to be held in various local government councils on September 21, 2024. It is a public knowledge in Kwara state that KWSIEC has not released any schedule for the LG election in the State as promised by the body. It only announced that it will conduct the election in 21st September, 2024, without any timetable for schedule of activities till date. Kwarans are doubting the independence of KWSIEC and are yet to see any sign of preparation by the body towards an election that has been slated for September 2024.
It is worthy of note that the KWSG never intended to let Kwarans know what it filed in the Supreme Court as a response to the suit by the FG. The KWSG neither gave its response any publicity nor inform Kwarans about its position on the subject matter. Special thanks to the Media that brought the KWSG’s anti-people response to the knowledge of the public. Following the media report of what it filed in Court, the KWSG did not refute or deny the report, thereby validating it in the eyes and minds of the public.
To cover-up the lies told by the KWSG at the Supreme Court, the Governor of Kwara State (H.E. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq), in a statement published by his Chief Press Secretary (Mallam Mallam Rafiu Ajakaye), further deceived Kwarans that he believed in full autonomy for LGs. This was published after a public condemnation of the KWSG’s position at the Supreme Court in various social media platforms by Kwarans who read the media reports and felt highly disappointed in their State government.
In a Previous suit by ENetSuD at the Kwara State High Court of Justice H.A. Gegele, the KWSG has previously lied to the Court by denying the dissolution of LG council and appointment of TIC to administer the LG. The Court later found that the KWSG lied, having established that the TICs were appointed. Consequently, the Court declared the appointment of TICs as illegal and sacked them with immediate effect. Rather than complying with the judgements of the High and Appeal Courts, the Governor proceeded to the Supreme Court to file a frivolous appeal that he has now abandoned and failed to prosecute diligently, just to enable him perfect his anti-people plan of putting the LGs in his pocket.
ENetSuD lauds the FG for taking the bold step to ensure the full autonomy of the LG system, which we consider as pro-people step in the public interest. We drum our support for the FG, hoping that the ongoing constitutional suit against the States would be in favor of the citizens and against the interest of the anti-autonomy Governors. We are proud of the Attorney General of the Federation, being a Kwaran like us, to be the driver of this novel step of the FG.
AbdulRazaq Olayemi,
Deputy Coordinator (Special Duties),
Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD),
12th June, 2024

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