Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, said he has directed the Attorney General of the state to file a notice of appeal against the verdict of a State High Court which invalidated the change of name carried out by his administration from ‘Osun State’ to ‘State of Osun.’
One of the media aides of the governor, Mrs. Bukola Aderibigbe, said this at a press conference in Osogbo on Thursday.
She said the government rejected the court judgment in its entirety over the fears that the execution of the judgment would cripple the economy of the state.
She particularly stressed that the chairman of Ilesa branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Kanmi Ajibola, who instituted the case, did so “with the intention of crippling the finances of the state.”
Recall that Justice Yinka Afolabi of the Osun State High Court, Ilesa, had, on Monday, held that the change of name of Osun State to State of Osun by the Aregbesola administration was illegal.
But Aderibigbe said her principal had also directed the attorney general to not only file an appeal against the verdict, but to also file a stay of execution of the judgment.
She said, “We have asked the Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice to file an appeal against the judgment and to file a stay of execution against the judgment.”
The plaintiff, Ajibola, had sought for an order setting aside the “State of Osun Land Use Charge Law, 2016,” having been enacted by the legislative body that is not known to the Constitution and for the state not known to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended); saying the law is not enforceable in Osun State.
The judge, Afolabi, said, “The executive governor of the state changed the name in 2011. The renaming of a state goes further and deeper for anyone to single-handedly do. To re-order the name of Osun State as “State of Osun” is hereby declared illegal, null and void.
“On the oath of allegiance, I want to state that the Seventh Schedule is part of the law. It is not a mere draft or a mere oath.
“It does not give room for any alteration. After deposing to an oath of office, you cannot turn around to do otherwise.”