FEEDBACK: Nigerians react as court declares ‘State of Osun does not exist’

Former Governor Rauf Aregbesola (top) and incumbent Governor Gboyega Oyetola (below)

The controversy whether it is to be addressed as State of Osun or Osun State seemed to have been laid to rest on Wednesday, as the state High Court sitting in Osogbo on Wednesday said constitutionally, the name, ‘State of Osun,’ does not exist.

The High Court judge, Justice Mathias Agboola, delivering his judgement in a case brought before it by a lawyer, Mr Kanmi Ajibola, against the state government, said it amounted to “artistic colouration when ‘Osun State’ is referred to ‘State of Osun.”

Hence, the court held that what is known to the Nigeria’s constitution is Osun State.

The judge in his ruling held that lawyers should be wary of legal implications of referring to Osun State as the “State of Osun.”

ALSO READ: Osun churches, mosques to reopen for two weeks, Gov Oyetola says

Ajibola had sued the state government over a personal tax of N5.3m that the state Internal Revenue Service asked him to pay, which he said was punitive because he often held opposing views to that of the immediate past governor, Rauf Aregbesola.

In his plea, the lawyer also prayed the court to declare the law upon which the tax was based as illegal since, according to him, it was a law made by “The House of Assembly of State of Osun,” a body, which he said is not known to the constitution.

Earlier, the defence counsel, M. Popoola, had asked that the case be struck out for lack of jurisdiction.

On the issue of tax payment, Justice Agboola upheld the submission of the defence that Ajibola did not seek all necessary means of settlement before approaching the court.

Hence, the judge held that Ajibola should seek redress through other necessary procedures laid down by the tax law, that it is only after failed, the plaintiff should seek redress in court.

It will be recalled that the renaming of the state by former Governor Rauf Aregbesola sparked off controversies, but his successor, Governor Gboyega Oyetola, whom many had thought would reverse the decision has not spoken on the issue.

Meanwhile, concerned Nigerians have taken to Twitter to pass comments on the judgement as presented below: