Court Halts Ebonyi Lgs Assignments For Disobedience To Judgment

An Abakaliki-based Federal High Court has blocked the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Finance from releasing allocations and other rights of the 13 Ebonyi State Local Government Councils until that the state government obey the judicial sentence that annuls the elections of the Local Government Council of July 30, 2022.

Some aggrieved persons, viz; Otu Collins Eleri, Nelson Eze, Akaa Ikechikwu, Micheal Ali and Isu Amaechi, in a lawsuit No: FHC/AI/CS/151, dragged down the Ebonyi State Government, the State Assembly, INEC and the State Attorney General . to the Federal High Court, Abakaliki, for not giving equal conditions to all applicants during the LG election.

The court, presided over by Judge Fatun Riman on August 25, 2022, in its ruling, said that it was undemocratic and illegal to hold an election in local government areas without upholding the plaintiffs of existing laws intended to regulate the exercise and Consequently, he annulled the election.

But despite the annulment of the election, the Ebonyi State government went ahead to inaugurate the council’s elected officials.

Upset by the government’s action, the plaintiffs went back to court to ask it to give effect to its earlier ruling annulling the election.

Accordingly, the presiding judge, Judge Fatun Riman, on Friday ordered the RMAFC, the CBN and the Federal Ministry of Finance to, henceforth, withhold the allocation or allocation of funds for the 13 Ebonyi State Councils, until that the state government obey the order. court sentence.

Judge Riman reiterated that the LG election held in Ebonyi on July 30, 2022 was annulled because it contravened the Nigerian constitution.

Speaking to reporters in Abakaliki shortly after the ruling, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Chief Mudi Erhenede, said the Federal High Court ruling overturned any other ruling on the same issue.

He said: “Two important things happened in court today. One is related to local government area elections in Ebonyi State. And other concerns of the PDP as a political party.

“You know, some time ago, on August 25, 2022, the Federal High Court issued a ruling annulling the local government area elections that were held in the state. Regardless of that judgment, the incumbent government in its wisdom went ahead and inaugurated the 13 people as chairmen of the 13 local government areas in Ebonyi State.

“As law-abiding individuals, my clients went back to court because, in that earlier ruling, the court declared the election made by EBSIEC to be unconstitutional, null, void, and of no use. The court also declared that the terms of the local government presidents who have now been forced out of office will expire in August 2023.

“That earlier judgment was disobeyed by the Ebonyi State government. And how else do we fight it, we went back to this court to give effect because when the court makes statements, you can go back to the same court to give effect to the statement that you’ve made.

“We return to this court to give effect to that previous sentence and that election that was declared unconstitutional.

In today’s judgment, the court agreed that the Ebonyi State High Court has no power to set aside or set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court because it is not a Court of Appeal.

“And the court granted our relief, to the effect that the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, must stop the allocation of funds to the LGAs in Ebonyi because they have not been executed as required by section 7 of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999.

“Those people who are running as president are not there legally. They were appointed by whoever appointed them. The CBN, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Federal Ministry of Finance are all the defendants in this lawsuit”.

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