The newly sworn-in caretaker chairmen of the 18 council areas and the newly created Local Council Development Areas, LCDAa, in Ondo State have been suspended by the state governor, Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
Their suspension was sequel to a court order.
Recall that an Akure High Court, presided over by Justice Yemi Fasanmi, recently granted an interim injunction filed by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which sought to restrain late governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu from inaugurating any person or persons not democratically elected as member(s) of caretaker committees to administer the affairs of the local councils and the LCDA pending the determination of the interlocutory injunction in this suit.
Justice Fasanmi later barred the caretaker chairmen from operating after they resumed office on the excuse that they had been sworn in before the order was granted.
Their suspension by the governor was contained in a letter by the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and signed by Alonge Adewale.
The letter read: “It has come to the notice of the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs that despite the suspension of all recently appointed Caretaker Committee members for Local Government (LGAS) and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state by a Court of competent jurisdiction, some individuals in these former positions are still parading themselves in that posts.
“Consequently, I have been directed to request the Heads of Local Government Administration (HOLGAs) in all the LGAs/LCDAs to immediately assume responsibility as head of their respective Local Government Areas/ LCDAs in acting capacity pending the resolution of all legal matters relating to this subject.”
The letter asked the suspended caretaker chairmen to submit, without delay, all assets and properties of the LGAs/LCDAs.
However, in a swift response, one of the caretaker chairmen said they had earlier secured a stay of execution against the court order.
Speaking with newsmen in confidence, the chairman, said they would pursue the matter to the Supreme Court.
According to him, “We were shocked that Aiyedatiwa refused to obey the order for a stay of execution. But that’s not the end of the matter; we would ensure that justice was done in this matter.