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Senate urges Nigerian govt to withhold statutory allocations of LGAs with unelected officials



The Senate on Friday urged the Federal Government to withhold statutory allocations of local government councils whose officials were not democratically elected.

This followed the adoption of a motion titled: “Urgent need to halt the erosion of democracy; the dissolution of elected councils in Benue,” sponsored by Senator Abba Moro at the plenary in Abuja.

Moro, who led the debate on the motion, said that democratically elected local government councils had been dissolved by Benue State government and replaced with caretaker committees.

He said caretaker committees were an aberration and alien to the 1999 Constitution.

Moro stressed that it was the constitutional responsibility of every state to ensure the existence of local government councils by law.

‘’There are subsisting court rulings directing the governor, the House of Assembly, their agents, privies, among others from tampering with the tenure of the elected local councils,’’ he said.

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In his contribution, Senator Victor Umeh pointed out that section seven of the constitution guaranteed that there shall be democratically elected officials of local government councils in the country.

He said that the emasculation of elected council officials and replacing them with caretaker committees was a violation of the constitution.

He asked the National Assembly to rise to its responsibilities and protect the laws by defending the constitution.

On his part, Adams Oshoimole said the Supreme Court had ruled that state governors had no power to dissolve elected local government councils.

He urged the Senate to prevail on the minister of finance not to release statutory allocation to unelected local government councils in the country.

In his remark, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, said the dissolution of elected local government councils by the state governments was illegal.

The Senate urged the Benue State Governor, Hyacinth Alia, to restore the elected local government councils in line with the constitution.

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