By VINCENT UJUMADU
AWKA – AN Awka High Court presided over by Justice Hope Ozo will September 20, 2012 deliver judgment in the case filed by a human rights lawyer, Mr. Jezie Ekejiuba, challenging the use of caretaker committees to run the affairs of local governments in Anambra State.
When the case came up for hearing yesterday, the Judge struck out an application filed by Ekejiuba to tender additional information because, according to him, the written addresses of the counsels to the various parties had been adopted.
Ekejiuba had sued the governor of Anambra State, the state House of Assembly and the Attorney General of the state challenging what he called the continued use of caretaker committees in running the affairs of the 21 local government areas of the state.
In an affidavit sworn to in Awka, Ekejiuba had argued that Section 7(1) of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999 provides that the local government system should be run by democratically elected officials, regretting that from May 29, 2003 to date, local government transition committees or caretaker committees or heads of administration had been in use in the state.
After hearing the arguments of the counsel, the judge called on the parties to address him further on whether or not the Attorney General of the state who was joined in the suit, is a public servant entitled to be served with pre-action notice served on the state government through the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, as was done by the plaintiff.
Throughout the period of the hearing of the matter, the House of Assembly which was joined as the second defendant for clearing members of the various committees was not represented by any lawyer, even as the plaintiff said he had dutifully been serving the legislature.
It will be recalled that Mr. Ugo Abana, a principal state counsel in the ministry of justice representing the state government had said in his affidavit, that at the time the plaintiff took out the summons in December, 2010, there were neither appointed transition committees nor appointed caretaker committees nor appointed sole administrators running the affairs of the local governments in the state.