Monday, 14 December 2015

LOCAL GOVERNMENTS CARETAKER COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS: ENUGU APC DRAGS GOV. UGWUANYI TO COURT

Rt. Hon. Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Enugu State Governor
Tectono Business Review gathered that the Enugu State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has dragged the State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to court over his plans to suspend council polls and appoint caretaker committees for the 17 council areas in the State come January, 2016.

It would be recalled that Chief Ugwuanyi, who ascended to the government house on the platform of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), had recently revealed to Enugu State political stakeholders of his intention to appoint caretaker committees that would run the affairs of the council areas to enable the government make adequate budgetary provisions for the exercise and as well complete on-going verification exercise in the local government areas.

Tectono Business Review learnt that the APC vehemently opposed the plan, prompting it to file a suit at the Enugu State High Court. According to the APC, it has already secured an Order of the Court to serve the Originating Summons and the motion on notice for interlocutory Injunction “to restrain the Governor and his partners from appointing any such caretaker committee pending the hearing and determination of the case”. The case, with the suit number E/362/2015, is pending before Hon. Justice R O Odugu of High Court 6, Enugu.

A statement credited to the publicity secretary of the APC in the State, Mrs. Kate Offor, which was made available to Tectono Business Review, has it that the party headed to court in order to forestall the tendency of misapplication of local government council funds and under the lame excuse of no money to conduct local government council
election.

According to Mrs Offor, “it must be known that the All Progressives Congress (APC) Enugu State Chapter, is vehemently opposed to the setting up of Caretaker Committees to run the Enugu State Local Government Council, as canvassed by His Excellency, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, governor of Enugu State. We say capital no to the setting up of Caretaker Committees to run Local Government Councils in Enugu State on the grounds that it is unconstitutional, ultra vires and goes against the grains of timeless best tenets of democracy.

“As Abraham Lincoln said, ‘No man is good enough to govern another man, without that other’s consent’ and most importantly the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended under Section 7 states, ‘The system of local government by democratically elected Local Councils is under this Constitution GUARANTEED and accordingly, the government of every State shall subject to Section 8 of this Constitution ensure their existence under law which provides for establishment, structure, finance and function of such Councils.’

“While we were busy preparing for local government council election and calling for the sack of the corrupt and inefficient Dr. Bony Eneh led Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC), news filtered in that His Excellency will impose cronies and party goons as councillors and chairmen to govern our local government councils. We are, therefore, at a loss why a governor duly elected to protect and defend the Constitution should arrogantly and less than transparently breach the Constitution, especially when his predecessors conducted local government council elections backed by law.”