Accounts freezing: Why I’ll not pay sacked LG chairmen now – Makinde

By David Adeoye
Gov Seyi Makinde of Oyo State says he will not pay the sacked local government chairmen until the Supreme Court orders him to do so.

Makinde said this on Saturday in Ibadan while commenting on the garnishee order on state government accounts recently secured from an Abuja Federal High Court by the local government chairmen sacked by the governor in 2019.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice A.O. Ebong had, on Dec. 15, issued an order attaching the state government’s accounts in 10 commercial banks in the country.

Ebong gave the order while ruling on a garnishee proceeding initiated by the local government chairmen who were sacked by the governor May 29, 2019.

The Supreme Court had, on May 7, 2021, voided the sack of the chairmen and councilors, as pronounced by the governor on the day of his inauguration for his first term in office in 2019.

The sacked council chairmen had gotten a N4,874,889,425.60 judgment against Makinde and other officials and agencies of the state, of which N1.5 billion had been paid, leaving a balance of N3.5 billion.

But, Makinde, in his reaction to the court ruling, said that his government would not bow to pressure to pay the state’s money into wrong hands until all legal means were exhausted.

He insisted that the sacking of the former council chairmen in 2019 was justified because their elections were premised on unconstitutionality.

The governor also described the ruling obtained from the federal high court in Abuja as an abuse of court process.

“The ex-LG chairmen will not get a dime until the supreme court asks us to pay. I will not pay into wrong people. This is a government that is based on the constitution,” he stated.

Also responding to the alleged conversion of Agodi forest to a housing estate, Makinde said that those agitating against the move were ill-advised.

He maintained that the decision would benefit the state both economically and security-wise. (NAN)