Under Rauf Aregbesola’s regime, Osun state was renamed as “State of Osun” in 2011, while he was campaigning for the “restructuring” of Nigeria and “true federalism”.
Then, he had copied the style of American states which are referred to, for instance, as “state of New York” rather than “New York state”.
However, in a ruling yesterday, the Osun state high court sitting in Osogbo, the judge, Mathias Agboola, held that it is unconstitutional to rename Osun state as the “state of Osun” — declaring it as mere “artistic coloration”.
A suit had been instituted by a lawyer, Kanmi Ajibola, 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).
According to Ajibola, 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.
The official handle of the state government, @stateofosun, tweeted the judgment on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Justice Mathias Agboola of the Osun State High Court declared unconstitutional the rendering “State of Osun” adopted by the State Government.
Yinka Afolabi, the judge, ruled that “the law and its makers were unknown to the 1999 constitution”.
The state government appealed.