In a decisive stance, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State asserts that he will not release payment to the sacked local government chairmen until directed by the Supreme Court, responding to a recent garnishee order on state government accounts secured by the ousted officials. The legal battle stems from the governor’s 2019 decision to dismiss the chairmen, a move deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in May 2021. Despite a judgment in favor of the former chairmen, Makinde maintains that his government won’t yield to pressure and will await the highest court’s directive before disbursing funds.
The garnishee order, issued by Justice A.O. Ebong on December 15, attaches the state government’s accounts in 10 commercial banks. This legal development arises from a N4,874,889,425.60 judgment against Makinde and state officials, with N1.5 billion already paid, leaving a balance of N3.5 billion. Governor Makinde, however, emphasizes that the sackings were justified due to constitutional concerns surrounding the elections of the former chairmen in 2019.
In response to the federal high court ruling in Abuja, Makinde deems it an abuse of the court process and reiterates his commitment to uphold the constitution. “The ex-LG chairmen will not get a dime until the Supreme Court asks us to pay. I will not pay into wrong people. This is a government that is based on the constitution,” he asserts, emphasizing the importance of exhausting all legal avenues before disbursing state funds.
Meanwhile, Governor Makinde addresses concerns surrounding the alleged conversion of Agodi forest into a housing estate. He dismisses dissenting voices, asserting that the decision is economically and security-wise beneficial for the state. Despite opposition, Makinde stands firm on his conviction that the move will contribute positively to Oyo State’s development.