There are indications that coming governorship election in Ekiti and Osun states may not hold as a Federal High Courts sitting in Osogbo, Osun State and Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti-State have fixed April 13 and 28 to hear the two cases instituted by the umbrella body of Yoruba Self-determination Groups, Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide, challenging the validity of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended.
The body is also seeking to stop the conduct of the forthcoming governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states, arguing that the 1999 constitution of Nigeria which INEC wants to use to conduct the two elections and subsequent elections in Nigeria is invalid because no referendum was conducted when it was enacted in 1999.
Joined as Defendants in the case are the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, SAN, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In a statement made available to newsmen by its Communications Secretary, Mr. Maxwell Adeleye, Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide said the two courts in Ado-Ekiti and Osogbo would, during the mentions, have a situation report about services on all parties and exchange of processes among the parties and the court would pick a date for hearing proper.
The Osun case is slated for 13/4/2022 for mention while Ekiti case is slated for 28/4/2022.
Mr. Tolu Babaleye, Esq, an Abuja based Constitutional Lawyer from Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, is the Lead Counsel for Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide.
The members of the self-determination group, led by their leader, Professor Banji Akintoye, from Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, his Deputy, Professor Wale Adeniran, from Ile-Ife, Osun-State, Dr. (Basegun) Olusola Oni, from Osun-State, Pastor Ayodele Praise, from Ekiti State, Comrade Hakeem Lawal, from Osun State, 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.
They 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 read.
Therefore, in the event that the above sole issue is resolved in the positive affirmation, the Claimants, 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.”
Akintoye urged all Yoruba people, especially, Self-determination Activists in Ekiti and Osun States to Mobilize themselves peacefully and orderly, and ensure that they are present in courts in Osogbo and Ado-Ekiti on 13th and 28th of April, 2022 for solidarity.
The renowned historian expressed confidence that the outcome of the case will stop the conduct of the forthcoming Governorship Elections in Ekiti and Osun States and other future elections in Nigeria, adding that “this is a battle to restore our stolen nationhood in Yoruba Land”