May 21, 2024

Court voids tenure extension for Rivers LGA chairmen


By Davies Iheamnachor, Port Harcourt

A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has voided the tenure extension for local government chairmen in the state.

This was as the court declared Local Government Law No. 2 of 2024, which extended the tenure of local government chairmen by 6 months after expiration of their tenure, invalid. 

The 27 lawmakers in the camp of the Minister of Federal Capital, Chief Nyesom Wike, had this year, in the face of the crisis, enacted a law extending the three-year tenure of the serving LGA chairmen by three months.

However, the court, in its decision Tuesday, held that the new law was inconsistent with the 1999 constitution and Section 9(1) of Rivers State Law No. 5 of 2018, which fixed 3 years for local government chairmen and councillors. 

The court gave the ruling that the recent extension of local government chairmen’s tenures was invalid in suit number PHC/1320/CS/2024, a case instituted by Hon. Enyiada Cookey-Gam & 6 Ors vs. The Governor of Rivers State & Ors.

In his judgment, HHon. Justice D.G. Kio declared that Local Government Law No. 2 of 2024, which sought to extend the Chairmen’s terms by six months, conflicts with the 1999 Constitution and Section 9(1) of Rivers State Local Government Law No. 5 of 2018. 

The court affirmed that the lawful tenure for local government chairmen and councillors remained three years, as stipulated by the 2018 law, stressing that any attempt to extend the tenure was not only unlawful but also violated the officials’ oath of office.

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