Ladoja will take charge of affairs - cops

Ibadan, Nigeria - Tensions mounted on Monday in Ibadan, the capital of the southwestern Nigerian state of Oyo, as police prepared to reinstate sacked governor Rasheed Ladoja following a Supreme Court ruling.

As early as 7.00 am (06H00 GMT) dozens of anti-riot police were deployed in pockets along the major roads leading to the main government offices, ahead of the noon deadline for Ladoja's reinstatement.

The security beef-up followed threats by the incumbent Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala and his political godfather Lamidi Adedibu, a prominent politician, not to step down to make way for Ladoja.

But the police said there was no cause for alarm.

"We are on top of the situation. Everything has been put in place to restore the powers of Governor Ladoja. His security details have been restored," federal police spokesperson Haz Iwendi has said.

For most in this city of some eight million people it was business as usual early Monday even if some residents were edgy about what would happen at midday.

"Ladoja will definitely take charge of the affairs of the state from 12 noon today. The state commissioner of police and his men have been directed to effect the directive," Iwendi continued, warning potential trouble-makers against the consequences of breaking the law.

"The police is prepared to prevent anarchy. This is why we are appealing to the Alao-Akala camp to eschew violence and obey the rule of law and constitutionalism," Iwendi said.

Ladoja was impeached on January 12 by a faction of the local parliament over allegations of corruption and abuse of office and was replaced by his deputy, Alao-Akala.

Ladoja and his supporters went to the federal appeals court to challenge a high court ruling upholding the impeachment.

The appeals court ruled in favour of the former governor, declaring the impeachment process "illegal and unconstitutional", but his opponents contested the ruling at the Supreme Court, the nation's highest judicial instance.

On November 11, the Supreme Court upheld the appeals court ruling.

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