Oyo state government and embattled members of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) on Tuesday traded blames after the planned out-of-court settlement on the crisis rocking local governments suffered setback.
On the state government part, Special Counsel to the State Governor, Barrister Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), who spoke on the stance of ALGON members in a statement on Tuesday, said that the sacked chairmen wrongly latched onto a script by the Attorney General of the Federation, which he said lacks foundation in law.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the Special Counsel to the Governor of Oyo State as saying that the ALGON members came to the negotiation table with absolute terms.
He said: “Information available to me indicated that the ALGON members went to the meeting meant to resolve the matter with absolute terms. No party desirous of solutions go to negotiation table with absolute terms.
“Basically, it is in the interest of the entire State to have the matter sorted out and I must say that the government of Oyo State remains committed to observing the rule of law.”
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Ayorinde, who stated that the case being held on to by the sacked ALGON members was based on a faulty step taken by the Attorney General of the Federation, averred that the State Government did not in any way frustrate the negotiation.
According to reports, the meeting abruptly ended as the team representing the sacked council executives and the All Progressives Congress(APC) requested a position paper from the government team to guide the negotiations.
The state government had announced at the last hearing of the suit it instituted against the sacked council executives last week that it would opt for an out-of-court settlement on the lingering political crisis which has crippled administration at the local government level in Oyo State since May 29, 2019.
The government appealed a high court judgement which restrained it and the House of Assembly from sacking the elected local government councils. There is also another suit at the state high court on the crisis.
Meanwhile, the members of the embattled Oyo State chapter of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria(ALGON), has accused Governor Seyi Makinde of insincerity on the proposed out-of-court settlement.
In a statement by its chairman, Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye, ALGON said Makinde has continued to demonstrate his insincerity in spite of its willingness to cooperate with him to move the state forward.
Leading the government team was the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo. With him were Mr Akin Onigbinde (SAN) and Mr Kunle Kalejaye (SAN) amongst others while Chief Niyi Akintola(SAN) led the APC team along with the party’s state secretary, Hon. Mojeed Olaoya.
The elected council executives were sacked by Governor Seyi Makinde shortly after his swearing-in on May 29, 2019.