An Osun State High Court on Wednesday insisted that it is constitutionally wrong to refer to Osun State as ‘State of Osun’, noting that the later does not exist anywhere.
It was gathered that Justice Mathias Agboola made this known while ruling on a suit filed by a human rights activist, Mr. Kanmi Ajibola against the state government over a personal tax of N5.3 million slammed on him by the state Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Justice Yinka Afolabi of the State High Court, Ilesa had in December, 2017 ruled that ‘State of Osun’ is an illegal term in a case filed against the then Governor Rauf Aregbesola for renaming the state.
Although the matter is still at the Appeal Court, officials of the state have so far been using ‘State of Osun’ in all official engagements and on all documents.
In his argument, Ajibola described the N5.3 million tax as vindictive, noting that he was asked to pay much because of his stance against the then Governor Aregbesola which to him the said Tax law upon which the tax was based should be declared illegal because it was a law made by “The House of Assembly of State of Osun”.
While justice Agboola agreed with the submission of the state counsel that Ajibola did not seek all necessary means of settlement before approaching the court, he frowned at what he called the “artistic colouration” of Osun State as “State of Osun”.
“The issue of Osun State and the ‘State of Osun’ is a loud one” as the judge expressed worry about the failures of lawyers working for the state to tell those in authority about the legal implication of the seemingly “artistic colouration”.
He advised Ajibola to seek redress about the tax matters through other necessary procedures laid down by the tax law, then if all failed, he can return to court.