Akintoye, others want court to stop Ekiti, Osun elections
Want Oodua Republic
By Dare Ogunjemisi
Some Yoruba self determination groups led by erudite scholar, Professor Banji Akintoye have approached the Nigerian courts with the aim of stopping further elections in a country troubled by unresolved National Question.
Akintoye who is the leader, Ilana Omo Oodua wants the court to stop Osun and Ekiti Guber Polls slated for June and July this year.
Akintoye and a French language expert, Prof Wale Adeniran with 15 other self determination groups want the election to be halted.
Documents signed by Maxwell Adeleye, the Communications Officer indicated that the groups have filed court proceedings at Osogbo and Ado Ekiti against the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) and the Attorney General of the Federation.
A Constitutional Lawyer, Tolu Babaleye, will defend Akintoye. The groups said the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria does not meet the requirements that qualify it as a valid Constitution
He said “Without having a Referendum which absolutely is an essential part in the process of making a Constitution, the 1999 Constitution is illegal, invalid and of no effect whatsoever”
The group said the suit is an attempt to force the Nigerian Government to succumb to the conduct of a referendum to decide, constitutionally, legally and peacefully, the agitation for an Independent Yoruba Nation and the dissolution of the amalgamation of Southern and Northern Nigeria.
The Self-determination Activists, on Tuesday, filed two suits respectively at Federal High Courts in Ado-Ekiti and Osogbo, praying for a declaration that the current 1999 Constitution of Nigeria is illegal, invalid and of no effect whatsoever because no referendum was conducted before it was enacted.
The Activists, who are members of the umbrella body of Yoruba Self-determination Groups, Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide, in the suits filed on their behalf by their Lawyer, Mr. Tolu Babaleye, have the Attoney General of the Federation (AGF) and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as Defendants.
The Self-determination Activists, led by the Leader of Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide, Professor Banji Akintoye, from Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, his Deputy, Professor Wale Adeniran, from Ile-Ife, Osun-State, an Ado-Ekiti based Medical Doctor, Chief Bayo Orire and 15 others, are demanding for a total decommissioning of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria to pave way for a referendum so that the indigenous people of Yoruba Land can decide on their nationhood, first and foremost.
According to a statement made available to Newsmen by the Communications Secretary of Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide, Mr. Maxwell Adeleye, the Activists are praying for a categorical order that against the backdrop that the current Nigerian Constitution is illegal and invalid because no referendum was conducted before it was enacted, INEC does not have the law that can be used to conduct elections anywhere in Yoruba Land, a region within Nigeria, thus, the forthcoming Ekiti and Osun Governorship Polls and all future elections should be stopped in Yoruba Land until a referendum is held for the Yoruba people to decide on the system they want for themselves within Nigeria and whether they even want to remain as Nigerians.
We are demanding that “Whether by virtue of the Preamble to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended) which says: “WE THE PEOPLE of the Federal Republic of Nigeria HAVING firmly and solemnly resolved to live in unity and harmony as one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign Nation under God dedicated to the promotion of inter-African solidarity, world peace, international cooperation and understanding: AND TO PROVIDE for a Constitution for the purpose of promoting the good government and welfare of all persons in our country on the principle of Freedom, Equity and Justice, and for the purpose of consolidating the unity of our people do hereby make and give to ourselves the following constitution” without having a “Referendum” which absolutely is an essential part in the process of making a Constitution, the said 1999 Constitution (as Amended) is illegal, invalid and of no effect whatsoever for failing to meet an essential requirement to be qualified as a valid Constitution”, the statement said.
Therefore, In the event that the above sole issue is resolved in the positive affirmation, the Claimants, led by Akintoye, pray the Court for the following reliefs:
“A Declaration that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended) is invalid, illegal and of no effect whatsoever by reason of its failure to satisfy the essential requirements of referendum and national consensus expected of a valid Constitution.
“A Declaration that the preamble/introductory passage to the 1999 Constitution inserted into the Constitution by the Military Government which says ‘’we the people of Nigeria have resolved to give ourselves a Constitution’’ is a lie when in the actual fact it was the Military Government that came up with the document and imposed it on the Nigerian people without any contribution from the Nigerian people; it has therefore rendered the Constitution illegal, invalid and null and void and of no effect on the ground of naked lie fraud.
“A Declaration that no valid elections whether Presidential, Governorship, National and State Assembly or Councillorship elections can be validly held under the said invalid and fraudulent Constitution as one cannot build something on nothing in law and expect it to stand.
“A Declaration that the forthcoming Ekiti State Governorship election which is scheduled to be conducted in June, 2022 by the INEC cannot be validly held under the said illegal and invalid 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.
“An Order of this Honourable Court stopping the holding of the scheduled Ekiti State Governorship election coming up in June, 2022 from being held as there is no valid legal framework for such an exercise because the 1999 Constitution (As Amended) under which the said Governorship election is planned to be conducted is illegal, invalid and inherently defective.
“An Order of this Honourable Court directing the Defendants jointly and severally to stay clear of Ekiti and Osun States in June and July 2022 and suspend with immediate effect the plans and arrangements they have put in place to conduct such an illegal election in Ekiti and Osun States of Nigeria.”, Adeleye, said in a statement on behalf of Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide.”
The Group called on all Yoruba people, especially, Self-determination Activists in Ekiti and Osun States to Mobilize themselves and ensure that they are present in courts in Osogbo and Ado-Ekiti whenever the cases are called for mention.
“This is a clarion call to our people within and beyond Yoruba Land that it is time to jettison our personal interest for the overall interest of our land. History and Posterity will never be kind to us if we miss this historic opportunity to salvage our land and restore our stolen nationhood. We must all come out in our large numbers to show solidarity, peacefully and lawfully, in support of this case because a landmark decision awaits the Yoruba people”.