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Court scraps 33 Ondo LCDAs created by late Akeredolu

AN Ondo State High Court has nullified the creation of the 33 Local Government Development Areas (LCDAs) by the late Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

The judge, Adegboyega Adebusoye, in his ruling, on Thursday, June 20, described the late governor’s action as illegal and unconstitutional.

Some leaders in the four Akoko Local Government Areas in the state – Akoko South-East, Akoko South-West, Akoko North-West, and Akoko North-East – had sued the state government, claiming that the region was marginalised during the formation of the LCDA by Akeredolu’s administration.

In his ruling, Adebusoye declared that Sections Seven and Eight of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) were not followed in creating the LCDAs.

He also ruled that there were no fair boundaries among the LCDAs.

Meanwhile, the leaders who filed the lawsuit on behalf of themselves and the residents of Akoko land under the registered trustees of Akoko Development Initiative (ADI) have applauded the court’s ruling voiding the creation of the LCDAs.

The litigants, including the state’s former House of Assembly Speaker, Bakitta Bello, Matthew Ofosile, and Lawal Rogbitan, signed a statement stating that the court’s ruling reflected the genuine intent of the law and the aspirations of the Ondo people.

They claimed to have observed the imbalance in the state’s Executive Council’s recommendation of July 2023 to the State House of Assembly for the establishment of the 33 LCDAs and petitioned the state Governor and the Attorney-General, requesting that the government address the injustices done to the Local Government Areas and the entire Akoko Land.

They expressed delight that their decision to seek the court’s intervention over the issue was fruitful.

Akeredolu assented to the bill creating 33 LCDAs in the state in September 2023.

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He signed the bill a day after he returned from a three-month medical leave.

The state House of Assembly passed the bill for the creation of the 33 LCDAs on August 15 2023 after it passed the third reading.

Akeredolu described the creation of the LCDAs as a step towards fulfilling his campaign promises and addressing the aspirations of the people for enhanced grassroots development.




     

     

    The local councils in the state became 51 when the established LCDAs and the 18 LGAs existed.

    The ICIR reported that Akeredolu died in the early hours of Wednesday, December 27, aged 67 years.

    His death came barely a year after he buried his mother, Lady Evangelist Grace Akeredolu.

    The ICIR reports that Akeredolu battled leukaemia and had been incapacitated for several months, disrupting governance in the state.

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    Bankole Abe
    Reporter at ICIR | [email protected] | Author Page

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