Court sacks Kwara LGA transition committees, lambasts governor

A Kwara State High Court in Ilorin has sacked the Transitional Implementation Committee chairmen and members in the 16 local government areas of the state.

In a ruling on Friday, Justice Hassan Gegele, held that the suspension of democratically elected LGA chairmen and their replacement with an illegal TIC by the state government remained unknown to any law in the land.

The judge described the action of the state Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, and his government as executive rascality and abuse of power.

He described the composition of TIC officials in the local government councils as illegal and unconstitutional.

AbdulRazaq had in June installed the TIC in LGAs in the state, following the suspension of elected council chairmen and councillors.

But a civil society organisation in the state, Elites Network for Sustainable Development, had headed to court to challenge the governor’s action.

In the suit marked KWS/117/2021, the group sought a court declaration that “Section 29 (1) to (5) of the Kwara State Local Government Law, 2005 is in conflict with Section 7(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and thus null, void and of no effect whatsoever.”

The judge dismissed the argument by the state that the plaintiff, ENetSuD, was not a juristic person with a legal personality that could sue and be sued.

The court added that the group had locus standi to pursue the case.

But the Kwara State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Salman Jawondo, vowed that the judgment would be appealed.

However, the Kwara State branch of the Peoples Democratic Party in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Tunde Ashaolu, said the judgment was a victory for democracy and the rule of law.

He said, “Now that the court has ruled that the caretaker committees are non-existent in the eyes of the law, we expect Governor Abdulrazaq to immediately initiate the process to conduct local government elections.”

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