From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Benin Division of the Court of Appeal has nullified the dissolution of the Edo State Law Review Commission 13 years after it was dissolved for failure to follow due process.
The Commission was dissolved in 2008 by the administration of ex-Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
But the court in unanimous judgment ordered that members of the Commission be reinstated and complete their tenure which should now run from March 25, 2021, the day the judgment was given, to August 25, 2025.
In the judgment delivered delivered by Justice Biobele Abraham Georgewill, with the concurrence of Jutices Oyebisi Omoleye and Dr Fredrick Oho, the appellate court held that the Commission was tenured and that the administration of Adams Oshiomhole that dissolved the Commission did not pass through the laid down procedure in dissolving it.
‘The dissolution of the Edo State Law Review Commission and consequent termination of the appointments of the Appellants on 24/11/2008 without due compliance with the provisions of the Revised Edition Law of Edo State 2001 by the 1st Respondent, the then Executive Governor of Edo State, is null, void and of no effect whatsoever,’ the judgement read.
‘An order is hereby given reinstating the Appellants to their aforesaid position as Chairman and members of the Edo State Law Review Commission to serve out the remainder of their five years tenure from 28/4/2008 to 24/11/2008 and thereafter from the date of this judgment being 25/3/2021 to 25/8/2025 totalling five years in line with Section 7 (1) of the Revised Edition Law 2001 of Edo State excluding the period from 24/11/2008 to 25/3/2021, unless the Appellants are removed in line with the provision of the Revised Edition law of Edo State of Nigeria 2001,’ the court said.
It, set aside the letter issued by the then Secretary to State Government (SSG) on behalf of the state governor saying it was issued without compliance with the provisions of the Revised Edition Law of Edo State 2021.
The appellants in the suit are Elder Jonathan Aghimien, SAN, TE Ogbeide-Ihama and Edward Aigbanbe, while the Governor of Edo State, Attorney General and the State House of Assembly are the respondents.
The appellants had challenged the ruling of Justice NA Imoukhuede of the Edo State High Court who earlier dismissed their claims for being statute-barred.