Court nullifies extension of Rivers LGs chairpersons' tenure by pro-Wike lawmakers


By Okafor Ofiebor/ Port Harcourt

A Rivers High Court sitting in Port Harcourt presided over by Justice D.G.Kio has nullified the recent extension of tenure of Local Government Chairpersons by the state House of Assembly.

The Judge nullified the extension while ruling in the case of Hon. Enyiada Cookey-Gam & 6 Others versus the Governor of Rivers State & Others (Suit No. PHC/1320/CS/2024)

The suit challenged the extension of tenure of the LG chairpersons for six months after the expiration of their term.

Enyiada Cookey-Gam is the Chairman of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area.

The Rivers State High Court ruled in his favor, declaring the extension of tenure for LG chairmen as unlawful

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Justice Kio, in today’s judgment, declared that Local Government Law No. 2 of 2024, which sought to extend the Chairmen’s terms by six months, conflicts with the 1999 Constitution and Section 9(1) of Rivers State Local Government Law No. 5 of 2018.

The Court affirmed that the lawful tenure for Local Government Chairmen and Councillors remains three years, as stipulated by the 2018 law.

The Judge emphasized that the attempt to extend the tenure was not only unlawful but also violated the officials’ oath of office.

Our Correspondent reports that the Martin Amaewhule-led lawmakers loyal to Nyesom Wike, the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, had amended the local government law and extended the tenure of the 23 local Chairmen that would expire by June by six months.

When Governor Siminalayi Fubara declined assent to the Bill, the Lawmakers override the Governor and passed the Bill into Law.

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