Petition against Governor Obiano’s L.G. Transition Committees in Anambra State
We wish to use this medium to petition to you, Sir against the executive lawlessness of Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano who by the fiat of Letters dated 28th January, 2016 Ref. No: ANS/SSG/M.186/SUB.1/195 signed by Prof. Solo Osita Chukwulobelu, Secretary to the State Government, appointed and transmuted all the members of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) whose tenure as elected Chairmen and Councillors of the 21 Local Governments of Anambra State 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.
The fresh 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.
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 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 tantamount to undermining the integrity of Court of Justice.
Mr. President, Governor Obiano should be queried to tell the whole world how he would react if you, our performing president, should decide to truncate democracy (God forbid) by giving flimsy reasons that “there is no money to conduct election” and “there must be no room for vacuum” enabling you in that behalf to appoint a member of your party, All Progressives Congress (APC) as interim Sole Administrator to run the Government of Anambra State after he (Governor Obiano) might have served out his first term of office sometime in 2019 pending the conduct of election by Independent National electoral Commission (INEC).
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 organize, undertake and supervise all elections to Local Government Councils within the State as soon as the Local Government Councils are dissolved”.
In this wise, we call on Mr. President to join us in saying no to Governor Obiano’s Local Government Transition Committees in Anambra State, which is a subject matter of a pending Appeal. Mr. President, Sir, you can do this by mustering enough political will in line with your change policy to checkmate Governor Obiano and his fellow dictatorial and undemocratic governors involved in this unholy alliance of trampling grassroot democracy under foot by denying every state government-appointed transition/caretaker committees to run Local Government Councils in this country the right to receive and spend their respective local government’s monthly allocation from the Federation Account. This is the only way to redress our grievance pending the dispensation of justice in our Appeal.
Dated this 8th day of March, 2016
Barrister Jezie Ekejiuba
Onitsha – Based Human Rights Lawyer & President, Voters Rights International
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 08036095750