By Bashir Bello
KATSINA – The opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Katsina State chapter has on Tuesday dragged the Governor Aminu Bello Masari led government to a court of law over swearing in of newly appointed transition or caretaker committee chairmen in the 34 local government areas of the state.
The State Chairman, Alhaji Salisu Yusuf Majigiri who stated this while addressing a press briefing at the party secretariat described the swearing in of the transition or caretaker committee chairmen as illegal and an act of impunity by the Governor.
Majigiri faulted the inauguration saying the Governor Masari administration dissolved the elected local government chairmen in place and incumbents upon assumption of office because of the political party difference and not based on rule of law.
According to him, “the dissolution of the elected local government councils in the state on the 10th July, 2015 is a gross violation of Section 7 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. We challenged this dissolution at the Katsina High Court and later appealed the unfavorable judgment at the Appeal court Katsina which upheld the judgment of the lower court.
“One interesting thing about the two judgements was the issues of stating clearly the illegality of replacing duly elected councils with transition or caretaker committees. This case is already at the Supreme Court awaiting judgment but the state government in its bid to challenge the independence of the judiciary went ahead to constitute illegal caretaker committees.
“This too, we have instituted legal actions against this impunity. We have evidence even on Video and audio in which the Governor himself was saying they are going to bend the law to set up the caretaker committees.
“The governments act of impunity are unfortunate considering the fact that the Governor at one time was a principal law maker. The arm of government that is supposed to be responsible for preservation and enforcement of the law is unfortunately being the law bender and breaker,” Majigiri noted.
The PDP Chairman continued when he challenged the government on it stewardship so far saying it cannot boast of a N2billion naira project completed for commissioning in the state despite huge sum of N460 billion (loans collected and the federal allocations) accruing over the period in the state.
“the Governor asserted in a BBC Hausa service interviews that they collected a Paris refund of N28 billion and FG releases of N30 billion giving a total of N58 billion naira.
“We are also aware of the loans from Islamic Development Bank, IDB and various local commercial banks amounting to about N100 billion. Since during this period under review funds from the Federal Account pertaining to Local government are jointly spent by the state government, therefore total receipts of funds during this period amount to about N448billion.
“It would also be recalled that the immediate past administration of former Ibrahim Shema left N14.5billion in the accounts after leaving office. The overall monies accruing over this period under review account to about N460billion.
“We therefore wish to implore the state government to offer a convincing explanation on the funds received from the federation account for both the two tier state and local governments and also how these funds were spent, because since the advent of this regime it has not commissioned a project worth N2 billion anywhere,” Majigiri however noted.