The Chairman and members of the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) on Monday dragged the state governor, Seyi Makinde to court.
They sued him for dissolving the commission.
Makindehad by a letter dated July 2019 issued by the Head of Service, dissolved the Commission, saying their tenure had not expired, but offering the members money to pay them off for their unexpired tenure.
Meanwhile, the Chairman and members of the commission said the governor does not have the right to take such an action.
Joined in the multiple suits filed at the National Industrial Court sitting in Ibadan,Oyo Stateare; the Attorney General of the state, the Oyo state House of Assembly and the Head of Service.
The seven separate suits were filed individually by the Chairman and members of OYSIEC.
They challenged the premature dissolution and termination of their tenure of office as Chairman and members of the Commission.
In the originating summons filed by the claimants, they are seeking 10 main reliefs including among others: A declaration that the purported dissolution of the OYSIEC Commission and termination of the appointment of the claimants by the Governor is illegal null and void; declaration that the resolution of the Oyo state house of assembly purporting to ratify such dissolution of the commission is illegal, null and void; a declaration that the Oyo state government letter terminating their appointment as chairman and members of OYSIEC and dissolving the commission, dated 1st July 2019 and issued by the Head of service is illegal, unconstitutional and void; an order setting aside the said letter of dissolution terminating their appointment as Chairman and members of OYSIEC; an order of reinstatement of the claimants back on OYSIEC board and restoring all entitlements and rights; injunction restraining the Oyo state government and its agencies from reconstituting or appointing any persons on the commission until the expiration of the claimants constitutional five-year tenure.
The claimants have also filed before the court an application seeking interlocutory injunction against the Oyo state Governor, Oyo State House of Assembly, and others, to restrain them and their agents or servants from nominating, appointing, screening any person or reconstituting the commission (OYSIEC ) until the determination of their case.
The claimants’ counsel in a letter accompanying the service of the court processes filed, and addressed to the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Oyo state, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo, which was copied to other defendants and the National Industrial Court, the counsel warned the government not to take any step to overreach or disregard the jurisdiction of the National Industrial Court , but respect the rule of law by ensuring nothing is done to appoint anyone into OYSIEC while the cases are pending.
This, the counsel said is in line with the Supreme court decision in Ojukwu V Gov, Lagos state which held decisively that where a party is served with a notice of a suit before a court especially when accompanied with a motion for injunction seeking to restrain the performance of any act or enjoining the doing of certain activities, the hands of the said party is effectively tied from proceeding with the threatened action, even if no preliminary injunction has been issued.