The Osun state High Court in Osogbo says it is illegal and unconstitutional to refer to the state as “State of Osun”.
The state was renamed by former Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, in 2011 as part of his campaign for restructuring and true federalism in Nigeria.
However, the presiding judge Mathias Agboola, on Wednesday nullified the naming stating that such is barely an “artistic coloration”.
Kanmi Ajibola, a lawyer in the state, had instituted a suit against the state government over the levy of a personal tax of N5.3 million imposed on him by the state Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Ajibola contended that the levy was illegal because the law upon which the tax was issued was made by “The House of Assembly of State of Osun”.
He described the tax demanded as “indictive, punitive and speculative” because he usually held opposing views to those of Aregbesola.
M. Popoola, the state counsel, had urged the court to strike out the case for lack of jurisdiction.
He said Ajibola did not seek all necessary means of settlement before approaching the court.
Delivering judgement, Agboola upheld the submissions of the applicant that the “State of Osun” is unconstitutional.
He warned lawyers to be wary of the legal implications of referring to Osun State as “State of Osun”.
However, the judge upheld the submission of the defence that Ajibola should have sought other means of settlement provided by the tax law before filing a suit before the court.
'State of Osun' unconstitutional, declares court
On Wednesday, Justice Mathias Agboola of the Osun State High Court declared unconstitutional the rendering “State of Osun” adopted by the State Government.
— Government of Osun (@StateofOsun) June 4, 2020