The Chairmen of the 17 local government areas in Plateau State have taken legal action against Governor Caleb Mutfwang over their suspension from office.
This was made known in a press briefing held by Alex Na’antuam, the Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) Plateau State chapter.
During the press briefing on Friday, he emphasized that the power to remove them for gross misconduct does not reside with the House of Assembly or the governor.
“The power to remove the chairmen for any gross misconduct does not reside with the House of Assembly or the governor," he said.
He further explained that the procedure for removing LGA chairman was explicitly set out in the Section 37 of the Local Government Council Law.
“Before the purported suspension, the 17 local government chairmen and the legislative councils had approached the court.
“We went there to invoke its interpretative jurisdiction to determine, among others, whether the governor has the power to terminate, suspend, truncate, or disturb our tenure in the light of Section 7 of the constitution.
“The system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this constitution guaranteed.
“Pursuant to the said suit, we filed a motion for interlocutory injunction seeking the court’s order of interlocutory injunction restraining the governor, either by himself or his privies, from disturbing, disputing, terminating, suspending, or truncating the tenure of the local government chairmen and the legislative council,” he stated.
In reaction to the advice giving by the State's House of Assembly, the ALGON chairman said: “In any case, such advice will not override existing legislations establishing the local government councils, as enshrined in the constitution, which is domesticated by relevant laws on the same subject matter in Plateau state.
“We have gone through the Plateau Local Government Council Law and we have found out that there is no part or whole of the law donating such powers to the House of Assembly.
“The Plateau State House of Assembly is the maker of the Plateau State Local Government Council law and to act in contempt and in utter disregard of the laws made by them is to devalue their functions."
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