The Ekiti State government yesterday said it would implement the Supreme Court’s judgment, which relocated the headquarters of Ilejemeje Local Council from Iye-Ekiti to Eda Oniyo.
The government said it had no option than to obey the apex court’s decision, which recognized Iye-Ekiti as the headquarters of the council since 1996 null and void.
The state Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, therefore, directed Chairman of the council, Sunday Awolola and the Commissioner for Local Government, Prof. Adio Folayan, to prepare a schedule for the relocation of the council to the new town.
Following the pronouncement of Iye-Ekiti as the headquarters against Eda Oniyo that was contained in the Federal Government’s Gazette, the Eda Oniyo people had approached the court to contest what they described as politically-motivated relocation of the headquarters by the then military governor, Col. Inua Mohammed Bawa.
The Supreme Court, in its judgment last year December, recognized Eda Oniyo as the headquarters and ordered Governor Kayode Fayemi to affect the relocation with immediate effect.
Egbeyemi, while addressing a press conference in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, said the state took the step following the advice of the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Wale Fapohunda and the report of a fact-finding committee, which advised that by virtue of the Supreme Court’s pronouncement, that it will be “illegal, irregular, unconstitutional, null and void,” to recognize Iye-Ekiti as the headquarters of the council.
The deputy governor said that sequel to the judicial decision, the government proclaimed that “the decision of the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, is sacrosanct and inviolable and is binding on the government.
“That by virtue of the judgment, Eda Oniyo is the only legally-recognised headquarters of Ilejemeje Local Council.
“That the headquarters of Ilejemeje Local Council and its machinery are hereby relocated by Ekiti State Government from Iye-Ekiti to Eda Oniyo-Ekiti.”
Egbeyemi said that by virtue of the pronouncement, all government departments, institutions, organisations, public functionaries, corporate bodies and others are expected to co-operate with the government to facilitate smooth relocation.
The Eleda of Eda Oniyo-Ekiti, Oba Julius Awolola, applauded the government for relocating the council to his domain and for obeying the judgment of the court.
“I want to appeal to my people not to be over-joyous. They should maintain peace. We have not fought for 23 years. The day they even took it forcefully, we did not fight. We appreciate the government for this gesture.”
Also, Chairman of the council, Sunday Awolola, appealed to people of the two towns to be peaceful and law-abiding, saying that adequate security will be provided by the government to safeguard the lives of the populace.