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Monday, 22 May 2017

Court sacks Anambra LG caretakers, orders fresh poll

Court sacks Anambra LG caretakers, orders fresh poll

local government councils

An Anambra State High Court sitting in Awka has sacked the local government caretaker chairmen and councillors appointed by Governor Willie Obiano, declaring their appointment as unconstitutional.

The court, which was presided over by the Chief Judge of Anambra State, Justice Peter Umeadi, ordered the Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission to conduct local government election in the state within 90 days of the judgment.

The suit challenging the constitutionality of the caretaker chairmen and councillors’ appointment was filed by the All Progressives Congress and its 21 chairmanship candidates in Anambra State.

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The APC challenged the appointment of the caretaker committees to run the affairs of the 21 local government areas in the state.
The respondents in the suit were ANSIEC, its chairman, the Attorney General of Anambra State, Obiano, the Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance, the Anambra State House of Assembly and its Speaker.

In his judgment, Justice Umeadi declared that the appointment of a transition committee at the expiration of tenure of the last democratically elected chairmen was illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.

He held that the appointment of former local government chairmen, upon the expiration of their tenure, was unlawful as the law would only allow for such appointments during emergency situations.

The judgment read, “It is hereby declared that the appointment of the 9th to 29th defendants as chairmen transition committee, at the expiration of their tenure as chairmen of elected council on 12/01/2016, by the 4th defendant (Obiano) in the absence of an emergency or such like situation is wrongful, unconstitutional, illegal, null and void, and of no effect.”

The court, therefore, ordered ANSIEC to conduct election into the 21 local government councils within 90 days, from the date of the judgment, in line with section 64(1) of the Local Government law of Anambra State (as amended).

Meanwhile, the Inter-Party Advisory Council, Anambra State chapter has elected the state chairman of Accord Party, Bartholomew Igwedibia, as the state chairman of the council.

Igwedibia was elected unopposed in an election conducted at the Independent National Electoral Commission state headquarters in Awka.

The leader of IPAC National Election Team, Dr. Abdul Ahmed Isiaq, described the election as free, fair and peaceful.

Thirty out of the 35 registered political parties in Anambra State participated in the election.

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