In response to a court order, Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State has suspended recently appointed caretaker committees for local government and council development areas. The suspension was communicated in a letter from the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, signed by Adewale Alonge on behalf of the permanent secretary.
Governor Aiyedatiwa expressed concern over politicians assuming roles in the caretaker committees despite the court order preventing their inauguration. Consequently, he instructed the Heads of Local Government Administration (HOLGAs) in all LGAs/LCDAs to temporarily assume leadership responsibilities until legal matters are resolved.
The letter stated, “It has come to the notice of the Ministry… that despite the suspension of all recently appointed Caretaker Committee members… some individuals in these former positions are still parading themselves in that post.” HOLGAs were directed to promptly retrieve all assets and properties held by the former caretaker committees, ensuring their safekeeping within their respective areas.
This development follows a court injunction issued by the Akure Division of the Ondo High Court in November, restraining then-Governor Rotimi Akeredolu from inaugurating the newly appointed caretaker committees for the 51 LGAs and LCDAs. The court granted an interlocutory injunction to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), preventing the inauguration. In the suit marked AK/390/2023, the PDP sought to halt Mr. Akeredolu from inaugurating the Interim Management Committees for the LGAs and LCDAs.
Justice Yemi Fasanmi, who issued the injunction, also restrained the Ondo House of Assembly speaker and the attorney general, joint defendants in the case, from inaugurating the committee. Governor Aiyedatiwa’s recent suspension aligns with the ongoing legal proceedings surrounding the caretaker committees in Ondo State.
In summary, Governor Aiyedatiwa’s suspension of the caretaker committees reflects adherence to the court order, urging HOLGAs to take charge temporarily while legal matters unfold. This decision comes in the wake of a court injunction obtained by the PDP against the inauguration of the caretaker committees.