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Abia appeals court’s verdict on LG dissolution

Umuahia—The Abia Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Chief Ume Kalu, said yesterday, that the state government will appeal against the judgment, which declared as illegal the dissolution of  “the 2004 local government regime’’ in the state.

 The Court of Appeal, sitting Imo State,  delivered judgment on the matter on  23 April.

Councillors of the 2004 regime had gone to the Appeal Court, to contest their dissolution mid way by former Governor Orji Kalu.

 On  Friday, 23 April, the Appeal Court in the case of Mr. Chigozie Eze and 147 others Vs Governor of Abia State and two others,  nullified the dissolution, declaring it as illegal.

The Attorney General told newsmen that the judgment did not indemnify government in monetary damages of any kind nor did it order the reinstatement of the dissolved local government councillors as speculated.

 Kalu said that the clarification became necessary following widespread jubilation by the councillors and their cronies,  who miss-interpreted the judgment, stressing that the court would not grant a relief not sought.

 “The judgment merely declares the dissolution of the councillors unlawful without any order of reinstatement, as according to the Court of Appeal, their tenure had not lapsed the time government dissolved them,” Kalu said.

 “The Ministry of Justice is appealing to the Supreme Court of Nigeria against part of the judgment that nullified the dissolution because we are committed to the rule of law and due process,” he said. He said that though government had not suffered any form of injury, but it was appealing to develop and expound the law on those issues “because if we leave the matter as it is, it will continue to create rumours.

 “We are formulating grounds for appeal and in due course, the outcome of the appeal process shall be made public,” Kalu said.

 He said that the Court of Appeal faulted the dissolution of the local government councillor’s regime because the State House of Assembly amended the law that reduced their tenure from three years to two years mid way into their tenure.


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