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LP members drag Bayelsa Govt. to court, for not conducting LG election



Some members of the Labour Party (LP) in Bayelsa, under the umbrella of Concerned Labour Party Critical Stakeholders of Bayelsa, have dragged the Bayelsa Government and its agents to court over their failure to conduct Local Government elections in Bayelsa.

The applicants, including the Chairman of the state chapter of LP, and 14 LP councillorship candidates in Sagbama Local Government Areas of Bayelsa, are asking the court to compel the Bayelsa State Independent Electoral Commission (BYSIEC) to conduct council elections after selling forms and publications of election guidelines.

They are also seeking an order to stop a civil servant (Heads of Sagbama Local Government Council) from running the council, describing such actions as unconstitutional, illegal, and ultra vires the powers of the state government.

At the pre-hearing at the Sagbama High Court on Wednesday, the presiding judge, Justice James Lockie, adjourned the matter to May 24 for hearing.

Speaking to newsmen, counsel to the applicants, Afininh Egbegi, said the matter is being fought against the Bayelsa Government, BYSIEC, Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice, Head of the Local Government Administration, Sagbama Local Government Council, as first, second, third and fourth defendants.

Egbegi said: “The applicants whom we represents have fulfilled all the conditions without exceptions, that is to say, they have bought their forms, filled the forms and even conducted party primaries for the emergence of candidates, who will run for the elections for the positions of chairman and councillors for the 14 wards in Sagbama LGA.

“We have discovered that with the absence of election being conducted and with the expiration of the tenure of the previous local government chairmen and their councillors, Sagbama Local Government is being run by a public servant, the Head of Local Government Administration in conjunction with the government of Bayelsa State.

“We believe this is a subversion of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We believe this is an oppression of the ordinary people and at this point we cannot continue like this.

“That is why we have brought this application to compel BYSIEC and all the respondents to do what they should do according to law.

“They owe us that, it is not a matter of somebody’s largesse. It is a question of a public duty.

“We are also asking for injunctive reliefs against the Head of Sagbama Local Government Council, because it is an abuse of office for the head of a local government council.

“We are glad that the courts are not asleep and our clients, the applicants, are peace loving people who believe in due process of law and the judiciary, have approached the courts.

“We are seeking for a judicial review of the acts and conduct of all the respondents because we cannot stop this exercise midway.

“The councils are not an appendage of the executive arm of government and these are weighty constitutional issues.

“Before now, the strategy employed was to get caretaker committee but the Supreme Court has pronounced it unconstitutional, illegal and ultra-vires the powers of this state government.

“Now we now have another strategy, using public officers like the Head of Sagbama Local Council disbursing public funds and running the system.

“That cannot be done. That is an open seismic for corruption. But for now we will keep our gunpowder dry,” he explained.

bbc naija news

Shedrack Frank

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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