Judiciary

Court dismisses suit to stop relocation of council secretariat

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An Ekiti High Court on Wednesday dismissed an interlocutory injunction seeking to restrain the state government from moving the headquarters of Ilejemeje Local Government Council from Iye Ekiti to Eda-Oniyo Ekiti.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Oba Jonathan Adeleye Oni, Oniye of Iye Ekiti and Mr Elijah Kupolati, had in representative capacity for the community, filed the suit to stop the planned relocation of the council headquarters to Eda-Oniyo Ekiti.

Joined as respondents in the suit are: the governor of Ekiti State, Ekiti State Attorney-General and Oba Julius Awotola, the Eleda of Eda-Oniyo Ekiti.

At the hearing of the originating summons on Wednesday, Justice Adesodun Abiodun dismissed the application for interlocutory injunction.

“I have hesitations in holding that there is no merit whatsoever in this originating summons same is hereby dismissed with a sum of N250,000 as cost in the favour of the defendants.

He described the action as trying to obtain court judgment through the back door and re-litigating a matter already resolved by the Supreme Court.

The claimants were represented by Mr Taiwo Kupolati, while the first and second respondents were represented by Mr Olawale Fapohunda, Ekiti State Attorney-General.

Mr E.K Adetifa was counsel to the third respondent.

Nigeria News Agency recalls that the Supreme Court had on Friday Dec. 14, 2018 ended the 19-year legal dispute over the right location of the headquarters of Ilejemeje Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

A five-man bench of the apex court had unanimously ordered the Ekiti State Government to immediately restore the headquarters of the local government to Eda-Oniyo from where it was relocated to Iye-Ekiti shortly after the state was created on Oct. 1, 1996.

The case began in the Ekiti State High Court with the suit filed in 1999 by the Eda-Oniyo Monarch, Oba Julius Awolola, challenging the relocation of the headquarters from his town.

The Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour-led bench of the Supreme Court had held that the establishment of the headquarters of the local government in Eda-Oniyo was backed by statute and could not be relocated elsewhere without the promulgation of a new law.

Reading the judgment of the panel, Justice Paul Galinje held that the act of the Ekiti State Government, three months after its creation, relocating the headquarters of the local government from Eda-Oniyo to Iye Ekiti “has no legal basis’’.

Ganlinje upheld the 2001 judgment of the Ekiti State High Court which affirmed Eda-Oniyo as the council’s headquarters and set aside the 2016 judgment of the Ilorin Division of the Court of Appeal which had ruled otherwise.

Edited by Bayo Sekoni/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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