The Court of Appeal in Abuja yesterday reinstated the 21 Local Government Council Chairmen wrongfully sacked by Gov. Idris Wada of Kogi State.
A Kogi State High Court sitting in Koton Karfe on Dec. 9, 2014, nullified the May 4, 2013 Council elections that produced the Chairmen and their Councillors.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Mustapha Mohammed held that the decision of the lower court was a judicial error.
The Judge said the appeal brought by the appellants had merit, adding “It is hereby allowed’’.
He ordered the Kogi State Government to immediately reinstate the sacked Council Chairmen and their Councillors, relieved of their appointments before the expiration of their tenures.
“The Court has perused the substance of the matter and left without an option but to nullify the dissolution carried out by the governor,’’ he said.
The trial judge, Justice Alaba Omolaye- Ajileye, in his judgment ordered the appellants (Chairmen) to hand over to the most senior Directors in their Local Government Councils.
The trial Court had held that the elections of the sacked 21 Local Government bosses conducted by the Kogi State Independent Electoral Commission (KOSIEC) were contrary to section 200(1) of 1999 Constitution as amended.
He stressed that the composition of KOSIEC at that period remained unconstitutional, illegal and void
Omolaye- Ajileye had held the Chairmen and their Councillors were sacked strictly to promote the principle of fairness, independence and transparency as prescribed by the law.
However, Justice Mohammed said the decision of the lower court was misleading and therefore required to be overturned.
“Having considered the appeal urging this court to reinstate the 21 Local Government Council Chairmen and their Councillors from Kogi State back to their offices, the penal is obliged to do so.
“The Kogi State Government is hereby ordered to immediately, without delay, reinstate the appellants back to their jobs,’’ he said.