Governor Dapo Abiodun led Ogun State Government has appealed against the N3.5bn judgement debt slammed on her in favour of former local government political office holders in the state (2012-2015 congress), it was learnt.

The grounds of appeal were not made known to our reporter but a source close to the state government, said the government had approached the appeal court, ostensibly to set aside some parts or all of the judgement orders.

The National Industrial Court(NICN) sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, had on the last Valentine’s Day, ordered the Ogun State Government to pay N3.5bn to the ex – local government political office holders (2012-2015 congress).

The said money was deemed the total amount deducted from their salaries under the watch of Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who was the governor of Ogun State when the alleged illegality was routinely carried out.

Amosun is now representing Ogun Central at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly.

The political office holders, said to be over 500 had dragged the Ogun State Government, the governor and over a dozen others to the Industrial Court in May 2020, after several attempts to have an audience with Governor Dapo Abiodun failed.

The affected past office holders reckoned that the action contravened the Ogun State Local Government Law 2008, adding that when they were leaving office in 2015, the money was not paid to them.

Delivering judgement on the matteron that fateful February 14, 2022, Justice Dele Peters held that deducting the salaries of the appointees via a memo was illegal, adding that “anything against statutory law is obnoxious, null and void.”

The Court, therefore, proceeded to order the state government to pay the deducted salaries of the political office holders with 15% interest within 30 days to the day the judgement was delivered.

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However, just while the affected looking to when they would reap the benefits of their favourable court judgement, The Daily Crucible learnt that the governor had since gone to the appellate court in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, to challenge the said judgement less than two weeks after the epocal verdict was delivered.

Joining the governor in the appeal against the affected ex -local government office holders are the Attorney – General and Commissioner for Justice, his counterpart in the ministry of Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs and Chairmen of 20 LGAs.

This latest decision of the the governor some claimed, is a declaration of war on bulk of his foot soldiers in first term, having allegedly curried their support during the electioneering period in 2019 only to now discard them afterwards.

Reacting on behalf of his colleagues, Hon. Olajide A. Akanji, Chairman, Public Enlightenment Committee of Ogun Ex – LG Political Office Holders (12 -15 Congress), said they were shocked and petrified to know that governor Dapo Abiodun – led government which he claimed the group along with others helped bring to power in 2019, could turn against them today by appealing against a judgement of a case when the governor is well familiar with all its circumstances.

Akanji wondered why the step was taken by Dapo Abiodun – led administration, recalling that the manner with which he treated and resolved similar issues such as the promptness in resolutions of the illegally sacked NLC activists and the prompt payment of the G – 7 LG Chairmen without any from of appeals.

Citing Proverbs 25:19 & 28:5, he expressed the fear that the Ogun Ex – LG Political Office Holders (12 -15 Congress) might have misplaced their trust, however, submitting that “It is our stance that whosever has the authorities to correct the past errors but looks away, is worse than the first abuser.”

He stated: “Our attention has been drawn to the surreptitious move of Ogun State government under the leadership of His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR to appeal the abuse of laws correctional Judgement of the National Industrial Court Ibadan, under Hon. Justice J.D. Peters which ordered Ogun State Government to release the amount allegedly saved for us under the pretense of “FORCED SAVINGS”.

“We are astounded and greatly petrified that the Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR or her agent could think of appeal given the circumstantial reality of this matter. This singular misuse of power on our members discredited the last administration greatly and the promise to rights the wrongs of the immediate past regime, especially the conscious commitment and repeated promises of His Excellency to pay us during campaign earned him our support.

“We appeal to His Excellency Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR to understand the wisdom in the maxim that says, Justice delayed is Justice denied. We at this time cautiously assume a clear, class – confined and elitist approach to His Excellency Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR in righting past wrongs.

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“His Excellency had in the last three years reviewed many wrongs of the past administration without subjecting the benefactors to protracted legal fireworks as being visited on us. The very exigent manner with which His Excellency treated and resolved similar issues, including the promptness in resolutions of the illegally sacked NLC activists and the prompt payment of the G – 7 LG Chairmen without any from of Appeals, made us have a second look at the Proverbs 25: 19 & 28:5.

“It is premised on the foregoing that we appeal to His Excellency Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR to use his authorities to bring succour to all victims of abuse of powers and authorities by the last administration. It is our stance that whosever has the authorities to correct the past errors but looks away, is worse than the first abuser.”

Confirming the appeal, a credible government source said Dapo Abiodun – led State Government had appealed against the judgement.

“We have appealed against that judgement. You know before a lawyer will appeal, the lawyer will asses a lot of factors, it is not a matter of whether the judgement is fair or not. It is not the only consideration. There are a lot of things that can come in to determine whether we can appeal but all I can tell you now is that the state has appealed that judgement,” the source said.

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