GOVERNORS CONFERENCE HALL
GOVERNMENT HOUSE, ADO-EKITI
21 OCTOBER 2019
STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY, OTUNBA BISI EGBEYEMI, DEPUTY GOVERNOR, EKITI STATE
Gentlemen of the Press,
- The purpose of this press briefing is to inform the good people Ilejemeje Local Government and Ekiti State in general about the decision of the State Government in the matter of the Supreme Court Judgment on the relocation of the headquarters of Ilejemeje Local Government.
- On 1st of October 1996, the Federal Government of Nigeria promulgated a Decree creating six additional States for the Federation. Among the States created was Ekiti, with Ilejemeje Local Government as one of her sixteen constituent Local Governments, with the Headquarters situated at Eda Oniyo Ekiti.
- However, few months after, the then Military Government in Ekiti State made a proclamation on air announcing the relocation of the Headquarters of Ilejemeje Local Government from Eda Oniyo to Iye Ekiti, another town within the Local Government. The Local Government Administration Law, 1999, adopted this position.
- The State Government’s decision and proclamation did not go down well with the people of Eda Oniyo, led by their monarch, and this resulted in the initiation of a civil suit in 1999 against the Government of Ekiti State, the Attorney General of Ekiti State and the Chairman of Ilejemeje Local Government, which lasted for a period of nineteen years from the High Court to the Supreme Court.
- On 14th December, 2018, a Supreme Court panel of five Justices in a majority decision of four to one, held as follows:
That by virtue of the laws, which created Ekiti State and her Local Governments, Eda Oniyo, is the Headquarters of Ilejemeje Local Government.
That any act done or purported to have been done by anybody, recognising Iye Ekiti as the Headquarters of Ilejemeje Local Government of Ekiti State is illegal, irregular, unconstitutional, null and void.
That the Government of Ekiti State and Ilejemeje Local Government, their servants, agents and representatives are restrained from recognising Iye Ekiti as the Headquarters of Ilejemeje Local Government.
- The State Government was subsequently served the decision of the Supreme Court by the Counsel to Eleda of Eda Oniyo, Ekiti. Upon receipt of the Judgment of the Supreme Court, His Excellency, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr John Kayode Fayemi sought the legal opinion of the Attorney- General of Ekiti State on the legal implications of the Judgment.
- In February 2019, the Ekiti State Attorney- General & Commissioner for Justice, Olawale Fapohunda issued his legal opinion on the matter to the effect that the Judgment of the Supreme Court in the matter was conclusive, clear, unequivocal and left the State Government with no option but to obey the courts decision in full.
- Following the legal opinion of the Honorable Attorney- General, the Governor of Ekiti State, inaugurated the ‘Committee on the Implementation of the Supreme Court Judgment on Ilejemeje Local Government’ with a single mandate to advise on steps to be taken in practical terms to implement the Supreme Court Judgment.
- On 8th April, 2019, the Committee commenced its sittings. The Committee received experts advise from individuals, government institutions and visited Ilejemeje Local Government on the 15th April 2019.
The Committee issued its report on June 2019.
- Government has considered and accepted the findings and recommendations of the Committee.
- The Government of Ekiti State NOW herby proclaims:
That the decision of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the highest Court of the land on the location of the Headquarters of Ilejemeje is sacrosanct and inviolable and is binding on the Government and people of Ekiti State.
That by virtue of the Supreme Court’s Judgment, Eda Oniyo is the only legally recognised Headquarters of Ilejemeje Local Government of Ekiti State.
That the Headquarters of Ilejemeje Local Government and its administrative machinery is hereby relocated by Ekiti State Government from Iye Ekiti to Eda Oniyo Ekiti forthwith.
- By this proclamation, all relevant Departments and Agencies of Government, Public Functionaries, Institutions, Organisations, Associations, Corporate bodies and individuals at all levels in the State are expected to note this development and cooperate in making the relocation a smooth and successful exercise for the common good of the people of Ilejemeje Local Government and in the best interest of our State.
- The Commissioner for Local Government and Community Development and the Chairman, Ilejemeje Local Government are by this proclamation directed to prepare a schedule of activities for the orderly relocation of Ilejemeje Local Government Headquarters from Iye Ekiti to Eda Oniyo Ekiti.
- In Conclusion, I want to use this opportunity to re-emphaise the commitment of the state government to good and effective Governance and the delivery of all our promises to the electorate including people living in both communities. This can only be realised in an atmosphere of peace, unity and harmony. We therefore urge the Iye Ekiti and Eda Onoyo Communities to eschew animosity, acrimony, maintain law and order, and respect the laws of the land.
God bless Nigeria, God bless Ekiti State.
Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi
Deputy Governor of Ekiti State
21st October, 2019.