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Obey court order, sacked Kebbi councils’ bosses urge Gov Dakingari

*Accuse Police of colluding with Gov

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA— CHAIRMEN of the dissolved 21 local government councils of Kebbi State have called on the state governor, Alhaji Saidu Dakingari, to as a matter of urgency respect the ruling of the court by reinstating them.

Speaking with journalists in Abuja, yesterday, one of the reinstated Chairmen, Dr. Usman Na’Allah Bunza (Bunza Local Government), who disclosed that the court order had been served on the Commissioner of Police, stressed that under normal circumstances, the Commissioner of Police would have issued directives to the Divisional Police Officers in the Local Government Headquarters to allow them into their offices.

“We are law-abiding citizens. The situation in Kebbi is a little bit difficult for us because the Governor is not ready to comply with court order.

“We have made several attempts to go to our offices, but they would not let us in because there is collaboration between the state government and the Police.  The Police, for instance, claimed they have not been served with the order,” he said.

Retrospective effect

Also speaking, another reinstated chairman, Yusuf Kamba (Dandi Local Government Council), who explained that they went to court to challenge what they described as the unconstitutionality of the dissolution of the councils by the state Governor, said the step taken by the state House of Assembly to amend Section 18(1) of the Kebbi State Local Government Law 2008 in respect of tenure, could not reduce their tenure with retrospective effect having been elected under the State Local Government Law of 2000.

According to him, “this point was clearly and expressly made by Justice M. S. Ambursa in the judgment he delivered in the matter on June 1, this year.”

Kamba, who noted that they have been waiting for about three weeks after the court judgment for the Police to allow them access to their offices, warned, “it is dangerous for the Governor not to obey the order of the court.”

Justice Ambursa rules

It will be recalled that the state Governor, acting in concert with the state House of Assembly in amending the Kebbi State Local Government Law, had dissolved the councils and thus reduced the tenure of the council bosses from three to two years.

However, a High Court in Kebbi, presided over by Justice M. S. Ambursa, June 1, declared that the dissolution effected on February 25, instead of February 25, 2011 by the state Governor, was “unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no consequence”.
According to Justice Ambursa, “it is hereby ordered that the plaintiffs be and are hereby reinstated to serve out their tenure of 3 years in office from the date they were first sworn-in.”

Meanwhile, the state government has, according to reports from Kebbi, deployed Policemen to guard the headquarters of the local government councils in order to bar the reinstated chairmen from returning to their offices.


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