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July 16, 2024

Plateau council chairmen urges Gov. Mutfwang to adhere restraining order

From Tongnaan Bawa, Jos

The elected local government chairmen suspended by the Plateau State Governor Caleb Mutfwang have called on him to rescind his decision and obey the restraining Order of Court against him regarding the suspension of the chairmen, saying the order still exists and is thus potent.

Addressing Journalists on Wednesday, at the NUJ Press centre, Jos, the suspended State Chairman, Association of Local Government Chairmen of Nigeria (ALGON), who was a Chairman of Shendam local government area of the state before the suspension, Alex Nantuam, stated that the restraining order has not lost its binding force or power despite the continuous disrespect of it by the Governor.

“This is particularly so because the matter that came up before the vacation judge on July 31, 2023, had to be adjourned to September 25, 2023. It is to be noted that up until now, the Governor has not reacted or responded to the substance of the issues raised in the Originating Summons”. He explained

The ALGON chairman disclosed that the state government recently took desperate action when it approached and obtained an order of interim from an Area court sitting in Bukuru, setting aside a purported directive of the Commissioner of Police sealing off the Secretariat of the 17 local governments and further directing the unsealing of the structures.

He said, “The question we make haste to ask is whether the governor, who has no regard for court orders, can benefit from any court order? He approached the fountains of justice with soiled hands. At any rate, it was the Governor’s disobedience to the order of a court of record and superior jurisdiction that resulted in the sealing off of the Local Government Secretariats.

“That it is manifestly clear even to the unlearned that the Order obtained at the area court directing the commissioner of police to unseal the Said secretariat was obtained by fraud and misrepresentation. In the first place, it was the Inspector General of Police and not the Commissioner of Police that directed the sealing off of the secretariat.

“We also believe that it amounts to forum shopping to file a suit in an Area court while the same subject matter is pending before a Superior Court of Record. We expect the police to take the necessary steps to set aside this order”.

He further posited that democratically elected Local Government Councils do not exist at the pleasure, whims, and caprice of the governor, adding that the local government is not a mere parastatal of the State.

The ALGON chairman however appealed to Governor Mutfwang to rescind his decision on the illegal appointment of the Transition Implementation Committee and allow rule of law and democracy to flourish.

He equally appealed to the Inspector General of Police to take immediate action to unseal the 17 Local Government Council Secretariats and allow constitutionally and Democratically elected officials to resume their work.

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Mustapha Salisu

Mustapha Salisu is a graduate of BSc. Information and Media Studies from Bayero University Kano, with experience in Communication Skills as well as Public Relations.

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