By Balkis Tijani.
Barely three days after the Kwara State Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Hon. Joshua Omokanye announced the withdrawal of the case challenging the suspension of the 16 local government chairmen in the state by Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq over alleged misappropriation and diversion of council funds, four of the suspended chairmen, today, disassociated themselves from the supposed withdrawal, pledging to continue with litigation in pursuit of justice.
In a statement titled “No going back on our pursuit of justice”, which was signed by the four council chairmen representing Ekiti, Irepodun, Ilorin East and West local government councils, they maintained that there was no basis to withdraw the court case which they remained confident of winning.
They vowed never to be party to the purported withdrawal of the case as announced by the state ALGON chairman, describing it as an improbable alliance and arrangement fuelled by selfish interests.
The statement reads: “We, the undersigned, dissociate ourselves from the statement issued by the Kwara State ALGON Chairman, Joshua Omokanye and Secretary, Abubakar Abdullahi Bata, purporting that all chairmen of the 16 local councils in the State had decided to withdraw the court case instituted against the State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq and the State House of Assembly, over our illegal suspension from office.
“We wish to state clearly that we are not and will never be party to such improbable alliance and arrangement fuelled by selfish interests. There is no basis for us to withdraw the court case, which we remain confident of winning and getting justice in the end.
“It is instructive to state that the court case was filed by individual chairman and not by ALGON as a body, and there was no time we all met to agree to withdraw the case.
“As it has been earlier noted, we insist that our suspension is illegal, undemocratic, null and void, and abuse of power by both the lawmakers and the State governor, who are out to score cheap political points. They blatantly disregarded a court injunction that barred them from dissolving or suspending elected council chairmen.
“We stand by the position of our party on this matter, and restate that due process was not followed in our suspension. Indeed, the Kwara State House of Assembly put the cart before the horse. How could you suspend elected office holders on spurious allegation of misappropriation of funds without proper investigation? What happens to fair hearing?
“We will, therefore, not backtrack on our pursuit for justice. As law-abiding citizens with nothing to fear or hide, we will go ahead to fight for our fundamental human rights through the instrumentality of the law, not minding the decision of some individuals to withdraw out of sheer cowardice and selfish interest, disguised as public interest. No amount of pressure, threat or media trial will deter us from seeking justice.
“Let also use this medium to reiterate our support for the leadership of our party – the platform through which we got elected to serve our people. As loyal and dedicated party members, we will always stand by and respect the position of the party.”
Comrade Yinka Dallas,
Chairman, Ekiti LG.
Engr. Lah Abdulmumeen,
Chairman, Ilorin East LG.
Hon. Muyiwa Oladipo,
Chairman, Irepodun LG.
Mrs Aminat Omodara,
Chairman, Ilorin West LG.
INSIDER earlier reported that the state ALGON chairman, Hon. Joshua Omokanye, announced the withdrawal of the case filed by the suspended council chairmen challenging their suspension by Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq who acted on the June 18, recommendation of the Kwara State House of Assembly who called for their suspension on account of impropriety.
Omokanye also refuted the assertion of the state PDP chairman, who claimed they were pressurized by the governor to withdraw the case, with a promise to allow them retain their position.