Benue LG chairmen to challenge suspension in court

Map of Benue State in Nigeria's North Central region

The 23 Benue local government councils, have vowed to challenge their suspension from office by the state House of Assembly in court.

The state House of Assembly had approved the suspension of the councils chairmen over alleged misappropriation of public funds.

But, Mr Michael Uba, the chairman of the Guma local government council and the spokesperson for the chairmen, told newsmen on Saturday in Makurdi that the suspension was illegal.

Uba, who described the suspension as illegal, saying that the councils chairmen had resolved not to honour it.

He said that the chairmen who were elected on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform, would not surrender their mandate to the assembly.

“If we surrender to the unlawful purported suspension preferred against us, we will be doing a disservice to the state.

“In resisting the impunity, we are doing a duty to the state in line with our sworn oath to discharge the functions vested to our office for the good of the people.

“We do not recognize the purported suspension of our councils together with the legislative arms of our councils, as such will not comply with it.

“Our position derives a fundamental base from the incontrovertible fact of our offices being a creation of law as guaranteed under the supreme umbrella of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended in 1999),” Uba said.

He said that they were elected as council chairmen on April 30, 2022 in an election conducted by the Benue State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC) and were sworn into office on June 29, 2022.

He said that the councils were not appointed but were elected by the electorate and were vested with a mandate guaranteed under the state’s law of Local Government Establishment.

“It is, therefore, not known to us under such law, that we and the entirety of the government at our tier can be sacked in the manner as purported by the state assembly and the bureau for local government and chieftaincy affairs.

“We equally defer to the judgement of the National Industrial Court holden in Makurdi which barred the government of Benue from taking any action that seeks to tamper with our lawfully recognised mandate as elected council chairmen,” he said. (NAN)

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