On Tuesday, the Federal High Court, Osogbo, Osun State resumed hearing into the lawsuit filed by the Ilana Omo Oodua, challenging the validity of the 1999 constitution to hold an election
The umbrella body of Yoruba self-determination groups, Ilana Omo Oodua, has insisted on getting a court order to stop the 2022 elections in Osun State.
On Tuesday, the Federal High Court, Osogbo, Osun State resumed hearing into the lawsuit filed by the Ilana Omo Oodua, challenging the validity of the 1999 constitution to hold an election.
Speaking after a court sitting in Oshogbo, Tolu Babaleye, lawyer to the group said the 1999 constitution under which the election was set to be conducted, was a fraud.
He explained that the constitution had contradicted itself in the preamble where it noted, “We the people of Nigeria.”
Babaleye said the people of Nigeria never gathered together at any time to conduct a referendum arriving at the constitution which is now being used to govern them.
He said, “The constitution is not a constitution that was made by Nigerians as it is stated in the preamble to the constitution where it started, “We the people of Nigeria”.
”What we are challenging is, where did the people gather to make that constitution, the constitution did not follow due process of constitution-making anywhere in the world and we are saying the constitution is illegal and the court should pronounce it to be illegal.
”The election that will be held in Osun in July should not be held on the basis of the constitution.
”What is wrong is wrong, no matter how long it has lasted. If it is an illegal document, the court will pronounce it illegal. The constitution is an organic document which is being used from day to day so you can at any time challenge the constitution. It is different from landed property. In Nigeria’s constitution, you can only challenge land issue after twelve years.
”The National Assembly are trying to amend the constitution which gives us the opportunity to challenge it. It is a constitution that is being jiggled day in, day out.
”We are challenging the basis of that constitution that no election should be held in Osun State under the constitution because the constitution is a fraud, it lied against itself in the preamble when it said, “We the people of Nigeria”. Where did the people gather? That’s what we are asking.”
Ilana Omo Oodua had last month filed the suit against the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Yoruba self-determination umbrella is seeking to stop the conduct of the forthcoming governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states.
It argued that the 1999 constitution of Nigeria which INEC wanted to use to conduct the two elections and subsequent elections in Nigeria were invalid, because no referendum was conducted when it was enacted in 1999.
The lawsuit, instituted by Prof Banji Akintoye, his Deputy, Prof Wale Adeniran, Chief Bayo Orire and 15 others, was filed on behalf of the activists by their lawyer, Tolu Babaleye, before the Federal High Courts in Ado-Ekiti and Osogbo, the capitals of the states.
It further demands a total decommissioning of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria to pave way for a referendum so that the indigenous people of Yoruba land can decide on their nationhood, first and foremost.