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LG Chairmen Tenure: Public outcry over Lagos Assembly bill

Dissenting voices has greeted plans by the Lagos State House of Assembly to extend the tenure of the Chairman from three to four years.

A public hearing held on the proposed Local Government administration amendment bill that also seeks to give the House of Assembly power to override the Governor in the event a resolution is passed by the House to remove the Chairman or Vice-Chairman after investigation met stiff opposition from stakeholders.

The public perception of the controversial veto power introduced by the House of Assembly has generated a lot of heated debate in the public especially in the political space.

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) Lagos State, represented by its Legal Adviser, Mr. Demola Sadiq, gave the Party’s position at the Public hearing.

He categorically told the members that the Party is clearly opposed to the insertion of the overriding clause.

Sadiq premised his position on the fact that the doctrine of Separation of Power and the Rule of Law frowns at such reckless and arbitrary use of the legislative power of veto.

He also spoke on the doctrine of double jeopardy that would make the Chairman and Vice-Chairmen of Local Government at great disadvantage as they could be impeached by the Councillor and be removed by the House of Assembly.

Although some members who were at the public hearing including Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Majority leader tried to justify their position, but majority of the Speakers including the Hon. Jokotade Pelumi, a former Speaker, were not convinced of this intrusion in the affairs of the Local Government that is generally accepted as the third tier of Government.

According to them, the introduction of this power to override the power of the Governor to exercise discretion on a resolution of the House of Assembly is strange to parliamentary democracy in Nigeria.

Resolutions have generally been established by the Court and precedent to be non-binding and only advisory.

It will be recalled that the Senate is currently facing stiff resistance from the public over its attempt to amend the Code of Conduct Act.


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