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Reps unveil plans to halt federal allocation to LG councils not governed by elected chairmen

Reps begin investigation into NNPC’s 32-year joint ventures

The House of Representatives on Tuesday unveiled plans to withhold forthwith local government allocation for Local Government Councils across the country being governed by officials not elected democratically.

The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion on the urgent need to address the refusal of State Governments to uphold democratic principles in the Local Government and the financial impropriety of unelected Local Government officials, sponsored by Hon. Ademorin Kuye.

To this end, the House mandates the joint Committees on Finance, Revenue Mobilization and Allocation (RMAFC) to withhold local government allocation for Local Government run by officials not elected democratically.

In the alternative, the House directed RMFAC to create a special account into which such monies will be paid until democratically elected representatives are put in place by such state governments.

The lawmakers also mandated the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (oAuGF) to institute legal action against any state that terminates the unexpired tenure of local government administration and direct RMFAC to withhold allocations due to such Local Government.

Hence, the House mandated its Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance of same

Speaking earlier on the intent of the motions Hon. Kuye frowned at the State Governors’ flagrant disregard to the provisions of Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which guarantees the system of local government run by democratically elected officials and prescribed that state government should ensure their existence.

“The House is aware also that by virtue of section 8 of the 1999 constitution as amended, mandates the State House of Assembly to make laws for the establishment, tenure, structure, composition, finance and functions of these councils stipulated by the constitution.

 

 

“The House is further aware that the local government, as envisaged by the constitution, is the most important tier of government as it is the closest to the people and the obvious foundation of both the subnational and the federal government.

“The House is informed that in December 2023 the Senate adopted a resolution to stop allocation to some States after debate on a motion sponsored by the Senate Minority Leader Senator Abba Moro on the urgent need to halt the erosion of democracy, as more Senators urge the extension of sanctions to other States that have usurped and upended democratically elected council officials and had installed unelected caretaker executives.

“The House is concerned that the dissolution of democratically elected council officials is in direct contravention of section 7 of the Nigerian Constitution, The supreme court pronouncement on such matters and a deliberate affront on democracy.

Worried is the increasing number of States acting with such impunity and constitutional disregard as about 21 State Governors are currently running Councils with Caretaker Committees.

“The House is dismayed that this impunity and constitution disregard is a deliberate effort to upstage democracy, shrink the development potential of Local Councils, enshrine lack of accountability and limit transparency in Local Governments and the state as a whole.” (tribune)

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Politics

Many injured as gunmen attack Shaibu, Okpebholo’s convoy in Benin

Three policemen are feared dead following a clash with suspected political thugs on Thursday in Benin City.

It was gathered that the clash occurred in the afternoon, shortly after Edo State APC governorship candidate, Senator Monday Okpebholo and the reinstated Deputy Governor, Phillip Shaibu, left Benin Airport on arrival from Abuja.

While some sources said three policemen sustained gunshot injuries, others said three policemen lost their lives during the clash.

When contacted for confirmation, the Public Relations Officer of the Edo State Police Command, Chidi Nwabuzor, who said they also heard it as a rumour, said it would be premature for the Command to make any statement on it without investigation.

It was learnt that no sooner had the Okpebholo and Shaibu left the airport than unknown gunmen, in a Sienna vehicle parked at the exit gate of the airport, shot at their convoy.( Daily post)

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Court stops suit seeking to void Akpata as Edo LP candidate

Nigerian govt should stop paying lip service to education strikes —NBA

Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court Abuja has dismissed a suit seeking to void the nomination of Olumide Akpata as the candidate of the Labour Party in the September 21 governorship election in Edo State.

In a judgement, Justice Omotosho upheld the arguments by Akpata’s lawyer, Johnson Usman, (SAN) that the plaintiffs were without the legal right to institute the suit.

The suit was filed by Anderson Asemota, Monday Mawah, a deputy governorship candidate, and Lamidi Apapa, listed as acting national chairman of the Labour Party.

Listed as defendants were the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Olumide Akpata and the Labour Party.

Justice Omotosho held that the plaintiffs lacked the locus standi to have approached the court on the issue because they did not participate in the February 23, 2024 primary of the party from which Akpata emerged as the party’s candidate.

The judge also found that the issue was about the nomination of a candidate, which forms part of the internal affairs of a political party.

He held that it is the party that determines who its candidate is, and proceeded to hold that the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the suit.

The judge further held that even if the court was to assume jurisdiction, the suit itself lacked merit.

Justice Omotosho noted that contrary to the plaintiffs’ arguments, the Court of Appeal nullified the orders made by a high court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) including the order restraining Julius Abure-led leadership of the party.

The judge said, “This means that the third plaintiff (Apapa) and those who were in acting capacity with him immediately had all their decisions nullified and non-existent.

“Thus, any letter written by the said acting executives, or any decisions including the purported consensus primary election which produced the 1st plaintiff (Asemota) are all non-existent, void and of no effect whatsoever.

“It is a trite principle of law that you cannot put something on nothing and expect same to stand.

“The entire foundation upon which the plaintiffs claim rests has been thoroughly demolished by the decision of the Court of Appeal.

“The argument that the decision of the high court of the FCT was valid as at when the primary election was conducted may be true to some extent especially if the Court of Appeal had yet to hand down its judgment.

“The judgment, however, destroys this argument and ensures that the first plaintiff for all intents and purposes cannot be deemed to be a candidate who emerged from a valid primary election.

“Thus the 1st plaintiff cannot claim that his name should be accepted by the ist defendant as candidate of the 3rd defendant for the governorship elections in Edo state in 2024,” Justice Omotosho said.

The plaintiffs had prayed the court to among others, order INEC to publish Asemota’s name as the winner of the Edo Labour Party Governorship Primary Election, having emerged as the consensus candidate and winner of the February 22 primary conducted by the primary election committee set up by the party’s national working committee (NWC) under Apapa’s leadership.

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Politics

Rivers crises: We stand with Fubara- PDP Governors declare

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Governors Forum has declared their support for Governor Siminilayi fubara of River State following the protracted political crisis in the State.

The Governors declared their support in a communiqué issued after their meeting in Enugu on Wednesday.

In the communiqué signed by the chairman of the Forum and Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, the governors said they noted the crises in the Rivers State Chapter of the party “and commits to ensuring peace.

“The Forum has resolved to stand by His Excellency, Sir Sim Fubara, Governor of Rivers State; while at the same time employ wider consultations with stakeholders for a peaceful resolution and thus find a lasting solution to the crises.”

They equally expressed regrets that “the 16 years of tremendous development under the PDP-led Federal Government, during which the country witnessed single digit inflation, the establishment of the existing anti-corruption institutions and higher standard of living for every Nigerian has been eroded during the life span of the lacklustre APC-led Federal Government.”

“The Forum identifies with the Nigerian populace in these troubling times and promises to bring back those good old days, of low inflation rate, affordable food, fuel and transportation, steady FDI inflows resulting in high naira value and the greater quality of human life as recorded.

“In that regard, the meeting commended the Governors of PDP-controlled states for their innovative approaches to governance in many fields especially infrastructure, education, health, women and youth initiatives and the timely delivery of developmental projects, across the country.

“The forum therefore calls on all Nigerians to refrain from anarchy as we all march towards the return of the PDP to power in 2027.

“The meeting thanked the Host, His Excellency, Governor Peter Mbah for hosting the first meeting of the PDP Governors in recent times outside Abuja and for holding the Party together not only in Enugu State but in the entire South Eastern Geo-political Zone; as well as extolled his virtues and achievements as evidenced with major landmark projects and interventions,” the communiqué further stated.

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