By Mike Adeyemi
Elite Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD) has said it has the locus standi to institute legal action against the Kwara State Government.
ENetSuD Coordinator, Abdullateef Alagbonsi stated this while answering questions from our reporter in a telephone chat, on Friday.
Recall that the Kwara State Government had on Friday challenged legality of ENetSuD to sue it over the appointment of Transitional Implementation Committee (TIC), during the hearing at the Kwara State High Court, Ilorin in suit no KWSG/117/2021.
According to Alagbonsi, “the objection raised by the government that we lack locus standi is ridiculous and ploy to delay justice.
“The Government just raised that objection to tarry the case. The case is of public interest as the appointment of the TIC has deprived the citizens the right to choose who would rule them.
“The lack of jurisdiction as alleged by the Kwara State Government is its opinion. It is our duty to provide the court our Certificate of registration. ENetSuD has the right to sue the government,” he said.
He added, “in the recent time we had dragged the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Federal Government before the court of law.”
“The objection raised is not only laughable, but ridiculous. We understands their game and it a ploy to delay the case. How would the Kwara State Government in the first place partner with ENetSuD if it’s not a registered entity.
“The fact remains that TIC are not known by the law. What the law recognizes is a democratically elected officials. TIC executives are occupying the offices illegally. The case before the court is of public interest, ” Alagbonsi stressed.
ENetSuD had through its Counsel Luqman Raji sued the government and sought clarifications to the following reliefs from the Court:
i. A declaration that section 29 (1) to (5) of the Kwara State Local Government Law, 2005 is in conflict with section 7(1) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and thus null, void and of no effect whatsoever to the extent that it empowered Governor of Kwara State to dissolve the democratically elected local government councils and replace with them with Transitional Implementation Committees/ Care Taker or whatsoever name called appointed by the Governor or any other body.
ii. A declaration that by virtue of the combined effect of section 7 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the provisions of section 18 and 28 the Kwara State Local Government Law, 2005 the Governor of Kwara State (i.e The 2nd Respondent) had no power to dissolve the democratically elected councils of the Sixteen local governments of Kwara State.
iii. A Declaration that 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) does not recognize the purported Transitional Implementation Committee/ Care Taker or any other name whatsoever called in Kwara State and the creation or appointing of such is therefore unconstitutional.
iv. A Declaration that the Respondents lack vires to release or use Kwara State resources to fund purported Transitional Implementation Committee/ Care Taker or any other name whatsoever called in view of sections 1(1), 7(1) and 15 (5) of the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
v. An Order setting aside the purported appointment of Transitional Implementation Committee by the Kwara State Government of 5th March, 2021 or any other dates whatsoever.
vi. An Order directing the 2nd Respondent (Kwara State Governor) to recover/refund back to the State Treasury all fund, remunerations and benefits already paid to members of the said Transitional Implementation Committees.
vii. An Order directing the 2nd Respondent (Kwara State Governor) to conduct local Government election in the whole local government area of kwara state with immediate effect in accordance with section 7 (1) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
However, the Kwara State government in a Counter Affidavits to the Court said the Kwara State Governor and Government, by notice of preliminary Objection dated 20th April, 2021, challenged the jurisdiction of the Court to hear and determine the Originating Summons Filed by ENetSuD.
The KWSG told the Court that ENetSuD does not have the legal right to sue the Governor and Government of Kwara State over the illegal appointment of TIC in the 16 LGAs of the State.
The KWSG told the Court that ENetSuD is neither a natural or artificial person known to law, saying further that ENetSuD does not have the legal capacity to sue the KWSG since evidence of its incorporation was not exhibited.
Relying on its position that ENetSuD does not have legal personality and capacity to sue, the KWSG also said the Court does not have the jurisdiction to hear the case brought by ENetSuD and asked the court to dismiss the case.
By Mike Adeyemi