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Amaewhule, 26 Others Not Assembly, PDP Members, Rivers AG Insists

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The Rivers State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Dagogo Iboroma, has said that the State High Court neither declared nor affirmed Martin Amaewhule as the Speaker of the House of Assembly.

He also stated that the certified true copy of the court judgment validates the government’s position and did not affirm them as members of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Iboroma, in a statement issued on Wednesday morning, also urged media practitioners to desist from giving interpretations to court judgments by fiat, emotional or other shades of persuasions.

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Rather, he advised that they should first obtain the judgment in order to read it thoroughly to gain proper understanding or, at best, seek competent legal advice before going to press.

READ ALSO: INEC Vows Professionalism Ahead Of Edo, Ondo Gov Polls

Iboroma gave the advice after obtaining the certified true copy of the Monday court judgment in Port Harcourt, Rivers State Capital.

Iboroma said: “Yesterday, I briefed the press and made the point that there is a misrepresentation of the judgment of the High Court of Rivers State in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024 in social, print, and electronic media.

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“My position has been confirmed and vindicated by the Certified True Copy of the court order in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024.”

Iboroma stated that a court order embodied the enforceable decisions of a court, adding that in this case in focus, the enforceable orders of the court will necessarily entail the specific pronouncements of the court.

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He listed the three orders of the court in the judgement to include: “That this suit be and is hereby dismissed/struck out for want of jurisdiction.

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“That the Peoples Democratic Party be and is hereby joined as 4th defendant. That the claimants’ case be and is hereby dismissed for lacking in merit.”

He added, “Contrary to the false claims and misrepresentation in social, print and electronic media, the court did not make a declaration that Martin Amaewhule is the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, neither did it make a declaration that Martin Amaewhule and 26 others are members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and the Peoples Democratic Party.

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“If it were so, it would have been embodied in the court orders which have been circulated to you all and displayed by me here for the purpose of clarity.”

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Iboroma regretted that the deliberate ‘misrepresentation’ of Monday’s court ruling was painted in bad light, and the public was misled with such misinformation.

He said: “Whatever finding of fact that is not included in the court order is an Obiter Dictum, which has no binding force.

“Once again, I respectively urge the media to desist from giving any interpretation to any judgement without first reading the content of the judgement and seeking legal advice,” he added.

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Edo Guber: PDP Reacts To Court Judgement Affirming Ighodalo’s Candidacy

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has hailed Wednesday’s judgement of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which affirmed the nomination of its candidate, Dr. Asue Ighodalo in the September 21, 2024 Governorship election in Edo State.

National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Hon. Debo Ologunagba said this in a statement, in Abuja.

According to him, the Party described the landmark judgement which upheld the PDP Edo State Governorship Primary election held on February 22, 2024, at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, as victory for democracy, Rule of Law and a well-founded affirmation of the propriety and credibility of the Primary election and PDP’s internal democracy.

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READ ALSO: BREAKING: Court Reinstates Shaibu As Edo Deputy Governor

He said, “The spontaneous jubilation across Edo State at the news of the judgement reaffirms the PDP’s candidate, Dr. Asue Ighodalo as the undisputed preference of the majority of the people of Edo State in the coming Governorship election.

“The Party notes that the judgement further validates the fact that all the aspirants at the Governorship Primary election were accorded level playing ground in the conduct of the Edo State PDP Congresses and Governorship Primary election that produced Dr. Asue Ighodalo as candidate.

“The PDP congratulates Dr. Asue Ighodalo and urges all Party members to remain united and continue to work together with the majority of the people of Edo State to ensure the victory of our Party and candidate in the September 21, 2024 Governorship election.”

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Ex-Rep Rejects Membership Of Edo APC Gov Campaign Council

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A former Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Pally Iriase, has declined his membership of the National Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress for the Edo State governorship election.

Iriase, whose name was included in the list released on Friday, said he was not consulted before he was included in the team and that he has since stepped aside from politics.

In a statement on Friday, Iriase wished the APC a successful campaign and a peaceful election and urged everyone to respect his desire to be excluded from the council.

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READ ALSO: Esan-born Lady Seeks Okpebholo’s Support To Replace Amputated Limb

The statement reads, “My attention has been drawn to the fact that my name is included in the list of appointees into the National Campaign Council for the governorship election in Edo State by the All Progressives Congress.

“I appreciate the National Working Committee for finding me worthy of the appointment. But, I hereby reject the appointment for the following reasons:

“I was never consulted. I have for several years stepped away from partisan politics, and I do not intend to change my mind.

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“I do not want my associates, friends, admirers, and family to see me as a hypocrite.

“While wishing APC a successful campaign and a peaceful election, I strongly urge everyone to respect my desire to be excluded from partisan politics.”

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FULL LIST: 20 States With Local Government Caretaker Committees

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Photo credit: Nation

Most states have resorted to governing the local governments through caretaker committees set up by the State Government.

This is contrary to Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which guarantees the system of local government by democratically elected officials.

Caretaker committees have become a prevalent practice in different states across the federation, and are fast replacing local government councils.

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Factors fingered for the inability of many States to conduct council polls include insecurity, paucity of funds as well as political and legal battles.

Thursday’s ruling by the Supreme Court declaring that it is unconstitutional for Governors to hold funds allocated for local government administrations further raised the question of how LG helmsmen are routinely sacked from office and replaced with Caretaker Committees.

These are the states running local governments with caretaker committees as complied by The Nation:

READ ALSO: BREAKING States Lose As Supreme Court Rules On LG Financial Autonomy

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1. Rivers – Rivers Governor Siminalayi Fubara appointed caretaker committees for the 23 local government areas as he continues his battle with his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, for the control of the political structure in the oil-rich state.

2. Jigawa – On June 28, 2024, the government of Jigawa State dissolved the elected council chairmen of the 27 local governments.

3. Anambra – On June 20, 2024, Governor Charles Soludo, through the House of Assembly, confirmed the appointment of transition committee chairmen and councillors for the 21 local government areas.

4. Zamfara – In Zamfara, the last grassroots poll was held on April 27, 2019, and the State returned to appointees after the chairmen’s tenures expired. In May 2024, the Assembly approved a six-month extension for the caretaker committee.

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5. In Benue, however, elections are scheduled to be held on July 6, 2024, for LG council chairmen.

6. Bauchi – Last year, Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, sworn in 20 appointed local government area caretaker committee chairmen with their deputies.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Supreme Court Bars Govs From Sacking LG Chairmen

7. Plateau – June 2023, Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau inaugurated the Interim Transition Committee chairpersons for its 17 local government areas at Government House Jos.

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8. Abia – In December 2023, Abia Governor Alex Otti, inaugurated the 17 local government transition council chairpersons.

9. Enugu – In March 2024, Enugu State Government ordered local government chairmen in the 17 councils to hand over administration to heads of personnel management after the expiration of their tenures.

10. Katsina

11. Kano – In March 2024, Gov. Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State recommended names of Interim Management Committee members for Local Government Areas of the state to its House of Assembly for screening and confirmation.

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12. Sokoto

13. Yobe – In April 2024, Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, approved the dissolution of all the 17 local government councils of the state, and also directed all local government chairmen to handover the affairs of their respective local governments to Directors of Personnel Management.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Supreme Court Bars FG From Paying Allocations To LGs With Unelected Officials

14. Ondo – Ondo State Government also constituted Caretaker Committees for the 18 Local Councils and 33 Local Council Development Areas, (LCDA).

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15. Osun – In February 2024, Osun Assembly extended the tenure of office and re-appointed caretaker committees of 30 Local Government Areas and 39 others running Modakeke Area Office and Local Council Development Areas in the state.

The extension was subsequently secured for the caretaker chairmen, vice chairmen, scribes and their members’ fresh six months tenure, beginning in February and ending in August 2024.

16. Delta

17. Akwa-Ibom – Governor Umo Eno last year through a letter with reference number GHU/AKS/S/104/VOL.1/607, addressed to the Speaker, Hon. Udeme Otong, informed the House of Assembly that there was no provision in the 2023 budget for the conduct of local government elections.

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He urged the Assembly to pass a resolution authorising him to set up interim administration at the 31 local government areas at the expiration of the tenure of the elected council officials.

19. In Imo State, the last council poll was conducted on August 25, 2018, which was the first in seven years.

20. In Kwara State, the last council election was in November 2017 with caretaker committees in charge since 2020.

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