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Adamawa SIEC to conduct fresh LG polls as protests trail moves to constitute transition c’tees

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Adamawa SIEC to conduct fresh LG polls as protests trail moves to constitute transition c’tees

Mohammed bin Ismail

Adamawa State Independent Electoral Commission (ADSIEC) has given political parties 90 days to prepare for fresh local government polls amidst protests by some aggrieved members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The electoral umpire has last year fixed the LG polls for December 4, 2021, but later cancelled it on account of the dearth of finances and other salient constraints.

But to avert a constitutional crisis since the tenure of the elected chairmen of local governments in the state will lapse on December 8, 2021, the Aminu Iya Abbas led state house of assembly gave the executive arm the nod to constitute a transition committee.

But some chieftains of the reformed Peoples Democratic Party (r-PDP) who said the move was unconstitutional, vowed to sue governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri over the constitution of the transition committees.

In a statement made available to this medium, Dr Umar Ardo, Hon Ethan Bugi and Hon Ibrahim Ahidjo Karlahi all chieftains of (r-PDP) vowed to challenge the “illegal” action in court.

“We have taken note that the Adamawa State House of Assembly has purportedly approved for the state government to establish so-called Local Government Transition Committees to run the affairs of the 21 Local Government Councils across the state.

“This is illegal legislation and any action taken by the government based on this so-called legislative act will be unlawful.

“To give a facade of legal backing to this illegality, Governor AU Fintiri is reported to have quoted the following law as justification – vis:

“Under section 4 (2) of the Adamawa State Local Government Establishment and Administration (Amendment) Law No.4 of 2019 which provides that where for any verifiable reason it is not practically possible to conduct Local Government Elections, the Governor shall constitute a transitional committee for all the 21 LGC’s pending the conduct of the elections.

“However, Section 7 (1) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) also provides as follows:

“The system of local government by democratically elected LGC’s is under this constitution guaranteed; and accordingly the government of every state shall subject to Section 8 of this constitution ensure their existence under a law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.

“To the fact that Section 7 of the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria guarantees a democratically elected local government council, any law that is inconsistent and in conflict with this constitutional provision is null and void to the extent of the inconsistency and conflict.

“The Adamawa State Local Government Establishment and Administration Law, which provision as quoted above by the governor is inconsistent and in conflict with the provisions of the constitution, cannot be different.

“Our national constitution cannot guarantee anything only for a subsidiary law of a state to obviate it – not for a single day! This will be an act of impunity and arbitrariness. It must not be allowed to stand.

“To this end, therefore, we will go to court and challenge the validity of this law vis~a~vis the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the statement said.

But in a move to avoid any litigation, the state government is swiftly moving to conduct elections in the 21 local governments of the state.

The Adamawa State Independent Electoral Commission (ADSIEC), in a statement signed by its Chairman, Alhaji Isa Shettima, said that the election notice commences on the 10th January, to 9th April 2022 as required by LG administration Law.

Shettima noted that the State Government has made adequate provisions to address the myriads of challenges that led to the earlier postponement of the LG polls in 2021.

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