Rights Lawyer heads for Supreme Court over Anambra LG polls

Posted by News Express | 30 November 2017 | 2,257 times

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•Human Rights Lawyer Jezie Ekejiuba

An Onitsha-based Human Rights Lawyer and President of Voters Rights International, Barr. Jezie Ekejiuba, has appealed to the Supreme Court against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Enugu which held that the election of the Anambra State Local Government five-man Transition Committees through an Electoral College constituted by members of the Anambra State House of Assembly voting under Section 3 of Anambra State Local Government (Amendment No. 6) Law, 2012 is constitutional.

The Court of Appeal through Justice C.N. Uwa leading other Justices H.A. Barka and B.M. Ugo had while deciding on an appeal brought by Ekejiuba dismissed the appeal.  The Human Rights lawyer had in an appeal marked CA/E/437/2012 challenged the constitutional powers of the Government of Anambra State in running the affairs of the 21 Local Government Areas of the State with appointed Transition Committees in place of democratically elected Chairmen and Councillors as provided in the 1999 Constitution.

In the Notice of Appeal, Ekejiuba not only faulted the judgment as corrupt, he also argues that Section 3 of Anambra State Local Government (Amendment No. 6) Law, 2012 relied upon by the learned Justices of Court of Appeal in pronouncing the verdict is inconsistent with the provision of Sections 1(2), 7(1) and (4) of the Nigerian Constitution and by the operation of Section 1(1) and (3) of the same Constitution is unconstitutional, null and void.  He further argues that Section 7(4) of the 1999 Constitution clearly guaranteed and entrenched voters’ rights to vote in a general election which automatically prohibits electoral college mode of election.

He therefore, prayed the Supreme Court to allow the appeal and set aside the electoral college judgment and in its place make an order granting all the reliefs sought in the appeal pursuant to Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act.

It would be recalled that Ekejiuba filed the class action suit against the Governor of Anambra State, Anambra State House of Assembly and Attorney-General of Anambra State, seeking for perpetual injunction against the use of appointed Local Government Transition Committees to run the affairs of the 21 Local Government Areas of the State.  The suit was brought pursuant to Sections 1(2), 7(1) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution.  Justice H.O. Ozoh of the High Court of Justice, Awka had earlier in a controversial judgment dismissed the suit.  Not satisfied, Ekejiuba headed to the Court of Appeal to challenge the verdict with the final legal battle to enforce local government democracy now shifted to the Supreme Court.

Source: News Express

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