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Call Obiano to order, Lawyer tells Buhari; alleges illegal appointment of LG chairmen, councilors by Anambra Governor

By News Express on 09/03/2016

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An Onitsha, Anambra State-based human rights lawyer and President, Voters Rights International, Barrister Jezie Ekejiuba, has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari, asking him to call the state governor Chief Willie Obiano to order.

Ekejiuba in the petition accused Obiano of executive lawlessness as regard his appointment of All Progressives Grand Alliance’s (APGA) elected Chairmen and Councilors of the 21 Local Governments of Anambra State whose tenure ended by operation of the law on 27th January, 2016 as the substantive Chairmen and Members of interim Transition Committees to run the Affairs of the 21 L.G.As of the State.

Ekejiuba stated that the governor carried out the act through letters dated 28th January, 2016 Ref. No: ANS/SSG/M.186/SUB.1/195 and signed by Prof. Solo Osita Chukwulobelu, Secretary to the State Government.

Ekejiuba argued that the illegal appointments were made by the Governor who is very much aware of the pending Appeal in Appeal No. CA/E/437/2012 Between Barrister Jezie Ekejiuba vs. Governor of Anambra State and two others which the Governor and his Attorney-General are busy defending at the Enugu Appeal Court, specifically seeking for legal prohibition of appointment of Local Government Transition / Caretaker Committees.

According to him, “When the matter came up last at the Court of Appeal, Enugu on 24/2/ 2016, the Governor and his Attorney-General were fully represented by a Senior State Counsel who moved a motion for extension of time to regularize their Respondent’s Brief of Argument which was granted to them unopposed.

“The matter was further adjoined to 21/4/2016 for final hearing of Appeal.”

“It is therefore very clear,” he said, “that Governor Obiano is hell bent on running a government that has no respect to the rule of law and taking actions and decisions that tantamounts to undermining the integrity of Court of Justice.”

Ekejiuba thus asked the President to query Obiano should be queried. He also asked him to discountenance  Obiano’s excuses which included; ‘there is no money to conduct election’ and ‘there must be no room for vacuum.’

Ekejiuba added that “The Governor should be advised by his Attorney-General to take note of the Supreme Court of Nigeria judgment in Hon. Chigozie Eze & Ors vs. Governor of Abia State & Ors Suit No. SC.209/2010 reported in (2014) LPELR – 23276 (SC) per AKA’ AHS JSC which held as follows: ‘If general elections are held every four years to elect the President, Governors and members of the National and State Assemblies, there is no justifiable reason, except where a state of emergency has been declared, for a State Governor to dissolve a Local Government and appoint a Caretaker Council in its place. If the State Government through a law passed by the State House of Assembly decides that the lifespan of the Local Government Council should be 2 or 3 years, the State Independent Electoral Commission established under Section 197 of the Constitution should exercise its mandate as spelt out in part II of the Third Schedule to organise, undertake and supervise all elections to Local Government Councils within the State as soon as the Local Government Councils are dissolved.’

•Photo shows Barrister Ekejiuba.

Source News Express

Posted 09/03/2016 3:10:22 PM

 

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