Kogi 21 LG Councils: APC files contempt charge against Kogi Government

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The All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kogi on Thursday filed contempt charges before a Kogi High Court sitting in Koton-Karfe against Kogi Government.

The party is challenging the state government for constituting three-member committees to oversee affairs in each of the 21 Local Government Councils in the state against the stance of three subsisting High Court judgments directing otherwise.

The Koton-Karfe High Court in its December 8, 2014 judgment annulled the 21 elected Local Government Councils on the ground that the electoral commission which conducted election was improperly constituted.

The court had also directed the Local Government chairmen to hand over to most senior Directors in the respective councils (Director of Local Governments) pending the conduct of fresh polls into the councils.

According to counsel to the APC, Isaac Ekpa Esq. the State Government had in defiance of the court order gone ahead to constitute a three-member committee in the name Senior Special Assistants (SSA) I, II and III for each of the councils.

Ekpa said the party went to court to challenge what he termed “flagrant disobedience” of the order of a Koton-Karfe High Court.

When the case came up on Thursday, neither the defendants nor their agents were represented in court and this prompted Ekpa to apply for a two-week adjournment to enable personal service of papers on the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Joe Abrahams (SAN).

Ekpa held that as the Chief Law Officer of the state, Abrahams was in the best position to know the consequences of disobeying a court order alleging that the Attorney General had been evading the service.

The presiding judge, Justice Alaba Omolaye-Ajileye adjourned the case to July 15th to allow the claimant the needed time to serve the papers on the defendants.

Addressing newsmen shortly after, Ekpa said that the pronouncement of the court was very clear, that the appointment of caretaker committees by whatever name to oversee the affairs of local government councils was unconstitutional.

He added that similar judgments were delivered by Justices Umaru Eri on 12th March 2007 and Justice Nasir Ajanah on 20th December, 2011 as he insisted: “Such impunity must not be allowed to continue.”

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