The Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the Ekiti State Chief Judge, Justice Ayodeji Daramola, of conniving with the State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, to frustrate its efforts at legally seeking redress over Fayemi’s plan to create new local governments in the state.
In a statement in Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday by the Publicity Secretary, Kola Oluwawole, the party pointed to the refusal of Justice Daramola to assign the case it filed against the governor and others over the proposed councils to a judge two weeks after the matter was filed.
The PDP said it had it on good authority that Justice Daramola had been pressurised by state officials to ensure a delay tactic was employed to frustrate the case.
“Our case, HAD/75/2014, challenging the illegality that the outgoing governor and his party are perpetrating was filed at the High Court of Justice, Ado-Ekiti Judicial Division on July 1, 2014 and deposed to by our State Chairman, Mr Makanjuola Ogundipe, on behalf of the party.
“Two weeks after the matter was filed the Chief Judge refused to assign the matter to any judge to handle, until the national strike by judiciary workers began last Friday. We know their plan and it will never work because it is against legal norms.
“We want Ekiti State Chief Judge to do the right thing and know that the interest of the state surpasses personal interest. As a CJ, he is to set the standard for other judges and legal officers to emulate. The temple of justice must not be desecrated because of personal sentiments.
“We call on the people of the state and other well-meaning Nigerians to call Fayemi, Ekiti CJ to order. We know what to do. The National Judicial Council is there to call any errant judge to order,” the PDP said.
The party also faulted Fayemi for trying to pit the PDP against the people of the state.
“The outgoing governor is only playing politics of vengeance and bad belle. After being roundly beaten in the poll, when the people of the state rejected him and his party, Fayemi feels he can be clever by half. He has missed it.
“This is somebody who professes being a supporter and promoter of the rule of law and he is now trampling on the same now. The SIEC that he is planning to use to conduct referendum is illegal. Justice Adeyeye of an Ado-Ekiti High Court ruled that the composition of the body is illegal. The appeal filed by Fayemi is yet to be decided by the Court of Appeal, so the question is, can an illegal body conduct a process that will be legal?
“The people of the state must know that we as a party are law abiding and we are for the progress of the state. We want a process that will follow due process and be in tandem with constitutionally recognised provisions,” the PDP added.
It would be recalled that the PDP is seeking the following reliefs: A declaration that it is an exercise in futility for the first defendant to embark on the creation of local governments or LCDAs at the twilight of his tenure, being a process that cannot be completed before the expiration of his tenure but meant to cause confusion for the incoming government.
“A declaration that any local government or LCDA created by Governor Fayemi in contravention of the 1999 Constitution as amended is null, void and of no effect.”
The PDP is also seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from embarking on further process towards the creation of additional councils.
It also seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the third defendant, the Ekiti State House of Assembly from receiving and or considering any process forward to it by the governor in relation to the creation of new councils.
The Ekiti State PDP also wants the court to determine the followings: “Whether Governor Fayemi can validly create local governments or LCDAs in contravention of Section (3) of the 1999 Constitution.
“Whether the governor has the power under the 1999 Constitution to abolish local government areas created under the 1999 Constitution by altering their names, adjusting their boundaries and dividing them into smaller units.
“Whether Governor Fayemi has the power to exhibit such power without recourse to the National Assembly.”