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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Court dismisses Communication Minister, Adebayo Shittu’s suit against Oyo government

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An Oyo State High Court of Justice sitting in Saki division has dismissed a case instituted by the Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu against the Oyo State Government and Saki Local Government Council.
Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Mr. Oluseun Abimbola who confirmed this in a statement sent to DAILY POST Wednesday evening also revealed that a case filed to challenge the constitutionality of the Special environmental sanitation days in Oyo-State in a suit I/128/2016 filed by one Kayode Oloyede at Oyo State High Court against the Attorney-General of Oyo State & Oyo State House of Assembly (OYHA) has also been dismissed.

Abimbola explained that the claimant had urged the court to set aside the environmental sanitation days in the state on the ground of not being constitutional and lawful.
He stated that the resumed hearing of the case filed by Shittu came up on April 24, 2018, and the presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Lateef A. Ganiyu, in a considered ruling dismissed in its entirety the minister’s Suit no HSK/30/2017.
He said, “You will recall this was the suit in which the Minister was claiming ownership of a parcel of land where a fire station is presently sited. Shittu had claimed the land was granted to him by Saki Parapo on which he planned to build an ICT centre but the local Government claimed the land belonged to her and never granted same to the Minister at any time.”
Abimbola said that the Oyo State Government had at the commencement of the suit filed a preliminary objection against same, contending among other things, that the claimant, Shittu had no locus standi to institute the suit, calling him a meddlesome interloper and that there was no reasonable cause of action disclosed by his claims in court.
He noted that the court in its ruling on the argument of the State counsel from the Office of the Attorney-General of Oyo State, found that the claimant did not present any substantial prima facie case to show any legal right capable of being contested on the land in dispute, and further held that the case as constituted disclosed no reasonable cause of action against the defendants.
The Attorney General disclosed that the suit was accordingly dismissed by the court and this puts to an end the claims and counterclaims of the Minister against the Local Government on the said land.
Abimbola further explained that Kayode Oloyede in his suit urged the court to set aside the environmental sanitation days in the state on ground of not being constitutional and lawful as well as praying to the court to adopt the position taken against Lagos State by the Court of Appeal in a suit which struck down the Lagos State environmental day as being unconstitutional same not having been created by any existing law.
The Attorney General noted that in a considered judgment at the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, April 30, 2018, the Hon. Justice Oni Esan of the Oyo State High Court dismissed the claimant’s case.
He said, “The trial judge distinguished the Lagos State case from the present one, and held that whereas
the court of Appeal so held against Lagos State environmental sanitation days on the ground of same not being a creation of law thus could not be enforced against the plaintiff therein, whereas the Oyo State environmental sanitation days are held pursuant to the provisions of the Oyo State Environmental Law of 2012, 2015, and regulations made thereunder, making the Oyo State exercise legal and constitutional unlike the scenario created in the Lagos case.
“She further held that section 45 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
shows the rights claimed by the Claimant were not absolute and could not invalidate any law justifiable in a democratic society in the interest of public order, public health, defence, public safety, etc”.

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