Monday, May 3, 2010

Dissolution of LGAs


The House of Representatives reportedly ‘ordered’ the Inspector-General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, to provide adequate protection for the 16 local government councils’ chairmen sacked by Ekiti State Gov. Kayode Fayemi to return to their offices. The Reps further ‘mandated’ the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Finance Minister to start withholding – “with immediate effect” – funds designated for both Edo and Ekiti states – “and any other state that may toe a similar line” – pending when the governors reverse their decisions to lock-out the chairmen from their offices.

That was how the house of representative reacted to the unconstitutional dissolution of council Areas in Edo and Ekiti state.

It will be recalled that the court of Appeal sitting in Owerri had declared as illegal the dissolution of '2004 LG Regime' by Abia State Government. The judgement stated in clear terms that the elected LG Chairmen and chancillors had not lapsed their tenure in office. The court verdict was greeted with jubilations across the state but little did the people know that a bad precedence had been set in motion by the state Government.

Today, Ondo,Oyo, Edo, Kebbi and Ekiti states have jumped into the bandwagon.

In Ekiti state, Gov. Kayode Fayemi dissolved the 16 LG councils without recourse to the house of Assembly.

According to Chief Bola Olu – Ojo, the state Chairman of PDP, “The governor does not have any constitutional backing in dissolving councils that were legally constituted neither does he have moral and constitutional justification in doing so without recourse to the state House of Assembly.

“’The councils, as it is presently constituted, can not be dissolved without the approval of the two-third members of the state House of Assembly who are presently on official trip to Germany. So, where does he derive the power?”

Olu-Ojo pointed out that it was very sad and unfortunate that Fayemi who used to claim that he is an apostle of rule of law and a human rights crusader has now turned against the law flagrantly without minding the consequences.

He wondered why the mandate given to the 16 local government chairmen and 177 councillors by the people of Ekiti State could just be withdrawn by somebody who swore to defend the country’s constitution.

The party chairman warned Fayemi against actions that could throw Ekiti State into chaos, adding that the party will not accept any illegality and will mobilise against it.

In the same vein, Gov Saidu Dakingasi of Kebbi State did not only dissolve the 21 LG council in the state mid way into their tenure but also defiled court ruling ordering their reinstatement .

It look the Federal Govt. intervention to reinstate the sacked LG chairmen in Ondo state in 2009 while Gov. Adebayo Alao Akala of Oyo State dissolved the council Areas in Oyo state the same day he was inaugurated in may 29 ,2007.

We the members of Local Govt. Study Network are calling on the National Assembly to commence a review of the laws dealing with local government

administration in the nation to see how real autonomy can be granted the third tier of government

Dissolution of Local Govt. Councils midway into their tenure is tantamount to civilian coup d'etat.
Jeff Nkwocha
LG Study Network

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