The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Ekiti State Government to pay all the entitlements, allowances and emoluments of the Local Government officials who were illegally removed in 2010.
The apex court in a unanimous decision upheld the judgement of the Court of Appeal delivered in January 2013 on the matter, and directed the Ekiti government to comply with immediate effect.
Spokesman for the former council chairmen, Adeleke Ogunbiyi, told journalists shortly after the verdict was delivered that the ruling was another proof that the courts remain the last hope of the common man.
“The judiciary has been the stabilizer of our democracy as it has consistently proved as the last hope of the common man,” he said.
“We are grateful to the Supreme Court judges for their industry and erudition in arriving at today’s verdict.”
Ogunbiyi who served as chairman of Ikere Local Government Area noted that though it took them six years to get justice, having been removed from office on October 29, 2010, the wait was worth it.
“We are happy that at last, justice has been done and we are all savouring it together.
“We still had 15 months to complete our tenure before our councils were dissolved and as law abiding citizens, we headed for the courts.”
According to him, the LG bosses were elected in the December 20, 2008 local government election in Ekiti state, during the administration of former Governor Segun Oni, but they were removed by former Governor Kayode Fayemi on the grounds that the State Independent Electoral Commission, SIEC, which conducted the poll was not properly constituted.
Ogunbiyi urged the current Governor, Ayo Fayose, to pay them their outstanding salaries and allowances in line with the judgment of the Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the land.
“We want to appeal to Governor Ayo Fayose to obey the judgment without any delay, the judgment is clear and it is to the effect that we should be paid what is due to us for the remaining 15 months in our tenure,” the former council chairman said.
“We believe that government is a continuum, it has nothing to do with the party or personalities involved.”