Court declares ‘State of Osun’ illegal

The Osun State High Court sitting in Ilesa on Thursday declared the change of the name of the state to the “State of Osun” as illegal, null and void.

Delivering judgment in a case instituted by a human rights activist, Barrister Kanmi Ajibola challenging the legality of the “State of Osun Land use charge Law”, Justice Yinka Afolabi ruled that the law and its makers were unknown to the 1999 constitution.

In his over one hour judgment, the judge chided the state governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola for deliberately and singlehandedly renaming the state illegally contrary to the known norms and the nation’s constitution.

He also declared that the makers of the law, who are currently serving as members of the State House of Assembly, were not sworn in as members of the “State of Osun House of Assembly” but as members of Osun State House of Assembly going by the seventh scheduled of the constitution.

Going through history of state creations in Nigeria since 1962, Justice Afolabi stated that since the creation of the state in 1991, previous governments used the constitutional envisaged name, Osun State while all the 35 states of the federation have not deviated from the constitutional names given to them.

“The executive governor of the state changed the name in 2011. The renaming of a state goes further and deeper for anyone to singlehandedly do. To re-order the name of Osun State as “State of Osun” is hereby declare as illegal, null and void”.

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