An Osun based human rights lawyer, Mr Kanmi Ajibola has vowed that he will do everything within the ambit of the law to ensure that “State of Osun” is never brought back to life.Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola
Ajibola in his response to the appeal filed by the Osun State government against the December 14, 2017 judgment of the State High Court declaring the change of the name of Osun State to “State of Osun” as illegal said he was ready to fight the battle till the end.
The activist lawyer who is currently the Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ilesa Branch disclosed on Monday, January 8, 2018 that he was surprised that the Rauf Aregbesola’s led government known for “noisemaking” over issues would quietly file an appeal against this judgment without its usual drumbeat.
Ajibola had dragged Aregbesola and members of the state house of assembly to court challenging the legality of the “State of Osun Land use charge Law” passed by the lawmakers and signed into law by the governor, saying the law and its makers were unknown to the 1999 constitution.
Justice Yinka Afolabi of the State High Court, Ilesa judicial division in his judgment nullified the tax law and declared the change of the name of Osun state to “State of Osun” as illegal, null and void.
In the 11-page notice of appeal filed on Wednesday, January 4, 2018 at the Court of Appeal in Akure, the State Attorney-General, Dr. Ajibola Basiru, raised eight grounds of appeal against the judgment while asking that appellate court to set aside the December 14 judgment.
Besides, he asked the Appeal Court to dismiss the case of the appellant in its entirety saying it was frivolous, academic exercise, vexations and abuse of court process.
“I must let the public know the stage we are because this case is a matter of public interest. I’ve read thoroughly the notice of appeal filed by the Attorney-General and I will reply appropriately. But one thing I will ensure is to see that “State of Osun” is never restored to life.
“The judgment has pronounced “State of Osun” dead and so be it. For now, the judgment subsists except there is any other contrary opinion by the higher court. The effectiveness of the judgment is still standing. As it is, all laws promulgated and businesses done by the “State of Osun” have been nullified and it will be an act of illegality to use the name “State of Osun” for any transaction”, he declared.