A human rights activist in Benue State, Sesugh Akume, has written what he terms a letter of reminder to the state Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of the state, Fidelis Mnyim, to respond to the suit he instituted seeking the order of court to declare the removal of the elected local government chairmen in the state by Governor Hyacinth Alia as illegal.
Akume had, on October 24, sued the Benue State governor before the State High Court for sacking all elected local government officials in the state shortly after he was sworn as governor on June 23, which he said was in violation of the constitution and a flagrant violation of the constitutional provisions.
In the originating suit, Akume contended that Gov. Alia’s action of sacking or indefinitely suspending the elected local government officials in the state for four months without justification since June 23, had left the local government system rudderless with no executive or legislative councils and no governance going on at all.
Joined in the suit were the governor and AG as the 1st and 2nd respondents, Speaker and the State House of Assembly as 3rd and 4th respondents and the Special Adviser, Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs as the 5th respondent.In the letter to the Attorney-General on Monday, Akume is contending that with the next adjourned date for hearing in the case being December 11, the state is yet to make a response.
He stated that his lawyers were eager to hear from respondents ahead of the date fixed for hearing after which is the judgement.
Part of Akume’s letter to the AG reads:
“You may wish to recall that the originating processes in the matter were received by all respondents (your office inclusive) on 2 November, 26 days ago today, as confirmed by His Lordship himself from the court records at the last hearing date, 9 November.
“You may also wish to recall that His Lordship charged both sides to exchange filings for definite hearing/final adoption on the next adjourned date, 11 December.
“We wish to bring to your attention that today, 27 November, is 19 of 33 days, (9 November to 11 December), since the last adjourned date but we are yet to receive any filings from the 1st and 2nd respondents.
“With more than 2 weeks gone, and with exactly 2 weeks left from today to the next adjourned date for definite hearing/final adoption of all written notices, we are getting concerned.
“If the 1st and 2nd respondents decline to file any counter processes having agreed with the applicant on all issues raised in the suit, and/or for want of a valid counter to the issues, that will be perfectly understood and appreciated.
“However, if the respondents hope to respond, we appeal that you use your good offices to hasten the process as we are eager to reply to yours and to complete all exchanges before the next adjourned date, please.
“It is our considered and firm view that it is more professional and tidier, as well as more respectful of the Temple of Justice (of which we are ministers); of the person of His Lordship; and indeed, the course of justice to complete all filings and exchanges before the next adjourned date as mandated by His Lordship, please”.
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