Court voids Obaseki’s removal of Etsako West council chairman
Court voids Obaseki’s removal of Etsako West council chairman

As PUWOV bursts oil theft syndicate in Benin

An Edo State High Court presided over by Justice Victor Oviawe, yesterday, declared the removal of the Chairman of Etsako West Council, Yakubu Musa, as illegal.

Former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, and Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, hail from the council area.

Governor Godwin Obaseki had removed Momoh from office in July 2020 over alleged corruption based on the findings of an investigative panel, which the governor said, recommended Musa’s removal from office for the negligence of duty, improper accounting and auditing of the council’s finances, lack of adequate staff supervision and alleged fraud.

However, the court held that Obaseki’s action was illegal, unconstitutional, null, void, of no effect and set aside the purported removal.

It also held that the state government failed to comply with provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Sections 20 and 21 of Edo State Local Government Law 2000 (as amended).

It, however, failed to grant the order restraining the governor from interfering with Momoh’s rights as the tenure of all elected council officials in the state had since lapsed.

Reacting to the judgment, Musa said: “It is a victory for democracy and the people of Etsako West and I thank God for giving the judge the courage to deliver the judgment. “I am delighted about it. I will assure the people of Etsako West to keep hope alive. The future is pregnant and things will work according to God’s plan MEANWHILE, officials of the Public Works Volunteers (PUWOV) in Edo State have arrested two suspected oil thieves in Benin City.

State Coordinator of, PUWOV, Mukhtar Yusuf-Osagie, who disclosed this, said PUWOV would continue to work with other security agencies to check criminality and ensure peace and orderliness.

Yusuf-Osagie said the suspects have been arrested in two vehicles with plate numbers BEN 206 PK and GRA 91 CH, along Airport Road in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

He said the suspects have been handed over to the Edo Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for further interrogation and prosecution.

“PUWOV officials accosted two Audi vehicles, who contravened the law at Ezoti axis of Airport Road in Benin City.

“It was later discovered that the apprehended vehicles were used for transporting oil in gallons. The vehicles were loaded with gallons of oil and other instruments linked with illegal oil bunkering.”

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