Rauf Aregbesola, as governor, renamed Osun state as “State of Osun” in 2001 — as part of his campaign for the “restructuring” of Nigeria and “true federalism”.
He had copied the style of American states which are referred to, for instance, as “state of New York” rather than “New York state”.
Not so fast, the Osun state high court sitting in Osogbo, the state capital, has ruled.
Mathias Agboola, the judge, on Wednesday, held that it is unconstitutional to rename Osun state as the “state of Osun” — declaring it as mere “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.