Connect with us

News

How ‘power-drunk’ Otti illegally appropriated Abia councils – PDP

Published

on

More missiles have been launched against Alex Otti, Governor of Abia State from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which is now accusing him of taking over the running of the local government councils directly in total disregard of the law of the land, which made the third tier of government a distinct level of government from the state.

In the latest attack, the party, which lost power in 2023 after 24 years in the saddle, bewailed a situation in which Otti, allegedly collected the official seals of the 17 Local Government Areas in the state from the local governments’ Heads of Service (HoS), infused their affairs firmly in his office after the dissolved immediate past council chairmen handed over.

Abraham Amah, Abia PDP Vice Chairman/Acting State Publicity Secretary, who relied on “credible, reliable and authentic intelligence,” while describing the development as “blatant act of illegality,” also accused the governor of becoming too power-thirsty that he had now assumed the roles of a governor and chairman of the councils at the same time, adding that the act was not only unconstitutional, and usurpation of the powers of the local councils, but also actionable by law.

Arguing that no bill had been passed into law by the Abia State House of Assembly which mandates the governor to run the local governments as one of the Ministries in Abia State, he said: “This novelty, unfortunately, is one that puts the governor as the arrowhead of those in breach of the Constitution they swore to protect and defend at all times.

Advertisement
See also  BREAKING: Military ups the ante, declares eight wanted over Okuama massacre

“For the purpose of clarity, the local government is a creation of the Constitution of the Federal Government of Nigeria and is in no way an appendage of the State government.

“Though the Constitution mandates the States House of Assembly to make laws for the good governance of the local governments, in no section of it did it make the local government an arm of the State government and its running should therefore not be at the whims of the State governor as we are seeing in Abia today?

“The local government’s finances are run with the states through the process and operation of a Joint Account Allocation Committee, (JAAC), between representatives of the State and the local governments and both tiers are signatories to the local government accounts as funds from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) and other accruals are received monthly and at other times into the joint account.

“The PDP, therefore, finds it curious and strange that Governor Otti would bypass legal procedures and run the 17 Abia local governments as if it were one of the Ministries in the State. By confiscating the Seals of the local governments as it were, the state governor now acts not only as the state governor but also as the Chairman-General of the Abia Local Government system, a system that is very strange and unaccommodated by the letters of the Nigerian laws.

“This unholy effort makes the running of the local governments not only undemocratic, cumbersome and complex but also opaque because there is no check as would ordinarily have been when all the signatories are in the know of how the finances of the local governments are run.”

Advertisement
See also  BREAKING: At last, Enugu LP lawmakers defect to PDP, meet Mbah

Contrasting the current situation with that of Otti’s predecessor, Okezie Ikpeazu, whom he said never emasculated or usurped the powers of the councils, he added: “In the absence of elected local government Chairman and Councillors, the convention has been to appoint local government Transition Committees; made up of an appointed Chairman and Councilors to oversee the affairs of the local governments.

“Instructively, the former governor Dr Okezie Ikpeazu never allowed any vacuum in the administration of local governments as he always ensured that the local councils were manned by capable hands, and it is on record that he is one of the few governors across the country that conducted local government elections twice in their eight-year tenure and was committed to conducting the third one before it was scuttled by the Labour Party and its agents, all in a bid to diminish the glowing popularity of former governor Okezie Ikpeazu who brought peace and prosperity to Abians.

“ The danger of running the state outside the confines of the law, is that such ugly precedents being set by Otti with every of his action since he was sworn into office would one-day boomerang and consume everybody including those cheerleaders who are nudging him to act recklessly even in the face of known illegalities.

“We call upon the governor to retrace his steps and allow the Abia local government system to function within the ambit of the law, return the seals to the Heads of Service of local governments, who are by law, custodians of the authority of the local governments in the absence of elected or appointed political heads of the council.

See also  Zack Orji, alive, needs oversees treatment after brain surgeries – AGN

“He should allow them to do their constitutionally assigned duties or at best, appoint Transition Committees to oversee the affairs of the local governments before the conduct of local government elections.

Advertisement

“And to the elders of Abia State, members of the Labour Party and the good people of Abia State, we remind everyone once again, that eternal vigilance is still the price of liberty and that we should collectively prevail upon the state governor, Dr Alex Otti to do what is right before our dear state descends into autocracy as it is gradually, but manifestly tending to with every action of the governor that is condoned by those that should speak up.”

News

Obi: Lagos-Calabar coastal highway, not now, may take 20-30 years

Published

on

Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), in the February 25, 2023 election on Monday, raised issues with the controversial Lagos-Calabar coastal highway awarded by the Federal Government to Hitech Construction, at the whopping amount of N13trillion, saying such a gigantic road project was not needed now at a time most of the Federal roads across the country are death-traps.

Obi, former Governor Peter Obi, who broke his silence for the first time over the project, since the news was first broken that the Federal Government had since awarded the contract, while acknowledging its potential benefits, expressed serious concerns about its pricing and raised questions regarding the timing and prioritization in the current Nigerian situation.

The LP boss, who highlighted the pressing issue of numerous uncompleted roads across the country, emphasising their role in economic growth and regional connectivity, maintained that the government should invest such huge resources to deal with the various roads across the country which were in various stages of disrepair, rather than plunging it into one road.

He listed critical roads in various zones, many of which have been under construction for several years due to poor funding and planning to include:

Advertisement
  1. NORTH-WEST Abuja – Kaduna – Zaria – Kano Road, – Sokoto – Funtua – Zaria Road, Kano – Hadejia Road, Kano – Katsina Road , Zaria – Funtua – Shema – Tsafe – Gusau – Talata – Mafara – Sokoto Road , Kano – Kwanar – Danja – Hadejia Road
  2. NORTH-EAST Kano – Damaturu – Maiduguri Road – Mubi – Maiduguri Road, Nguru – Gashua – Bayamari Road, Gombe – Biu – Numan Road, Dikwa – Marte – Monguno Road, Potiskum – Fika – Bajoga – Gombe – Biu Road, Mayo Belwa – Jada – Ganye – Tongue Road, Tumu – Pindiga – Kashere – Bashar – Wase – Wamba – Nassarawa Road.
  3. NORTH-CENTRAL Abuja – Lokoja – Okene – Auchi – Benin Road, Ilorin – Jebba Road, Kabba – Omuaran Road, Suleja – Minna Road, Makurdi – Gboko – Yandev – Katsina-Ala Road, Buruku Bridge across Katsina River.
  4. SOUTH-WEST Lagos – Badagry Road, Ibadan – Ife – Ilesha – Osogbo Road, Itoikin – Ijebu Ode – Ibadan Road, Ibadan – Ilorin – Jebba – Mokwa – Bokani Junction Road, Abeokuta – Ibadan Road, Ikorodu – Shagamu Road, Ado – Igede – Aramoko – Itawure Road, Ajasse Ipo – Offa – Erinle – Osun State Border Road.
  5. SOUTH-EAST: 9th Mile – Oturkpo -Makurdi Road, Enugu – Port Harcourt Road, Onitsha – Awka — Enugu Road, Onitsha – Owerri – Umuahia Road, Bende – Arochukwu – Ohafia Road, Okigwe – Afikpo Road, Nsukka – Obollo Afor – Ehamafu – Nkalagu Road, Oba – Nnewi – Okija Road.
  6. SOUTH-SOUTH: Benin – Sapele – Warri Road, East – West Road, (Warri – Kaiama – Ahoada – Port Harcourt – Eket – Oron) Yenegoa Road, Junction – Kolo – Otuoke Road, Sapele – Agbor – Ewu Road, Benin – Akure – Ore – Ife Road, Ikot Ekpene – Aba – Owerri Road, Jattau – Fugar – Agenebode Road, Bodo – Bonny Road with Bridge across Opobo Channel, Port Harcourt – Onne Road, Agbor – Sakpoba – Ogharefe Road, Odukpani Junction – Itu – Ikot Ekpene – Umuahia Road.
See also  Yusuf to Ganduje: Get ready for me! Your rotten image, a disgrace to Kano

With the Federal Ministry of Works allocating a capital budget of N892 billion for 2024, in addition to funding from multilateral loan projects and other sources, Obi questioned the wisdom of embarking on another massive project that may not be completed for the next 20 or 30 years.

He warned against exacerbating the problem of abandoned, incomplete projects that do not contribute to economic growth, urging the prioritisation of existing uncompleted projects, while emphasising the need to allocate resources towards repairing and completing vital infrastructure.

The former governor, who stressed the importance of focusing on the urgent needs of the people and ensuring that investments serve the collective good of the nation, advocated for prioritising the completion and rehabilitation of existing infrastructure over embarking on colossal new projects with uncertain completion timelines, adding that fiscal discipline and strategic prioritisation in addressing the country’s infrastructure challenges, must be paramount to leaders of the country.

Continue Reading

News

Fubara, Rivers assembly return to trenches! Lawmakers override gov on LG laws

Published

on

The seemingly unabating schism between Siminalayi Fubara, Governor and members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, assumed another stage on Monday, with the lawmakers deciding to pass the local government Amendment Bill into law without the assent of the state governor,

The Assembly, in apparent defiance of the state High Court’s order directing the status quo on the issue of elongating the tenure of elected local government officials, which formed part of the amendment, went ahead to screen as well as confirm the chairman and other members of the Assembly Service Commission in the spirit of the new law.

Martins Wachukwu, spokesman of Martin Amaewhule, Speaker of the assembly, conveying the development in a statement, said the lawmakers made the decision at its 159th Legislative sitting held at the Assembly Quarters in Port Harcourt, which has since served as their sitting venue since the demolition of the main House of Assembly quarters by Fubara, last year.

Stating that Fubara declined assent to the Local Government (Amendment) Bill initially passed into law on March 13, 2024, by the House, the statement, said the lawmakers were bent on performing their constitutional duties and therefore decided to override the governor’s decision on the matter by a two-thirds majority.

Advertisement

The statement read: “Determined to perform its Constitutional duties, the Bill was represented by the Majority Leader, Hon. Major Jack and debated upon by Members. Thereafter, the House in accordance with the provisions of Section 100(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as altered, which empowers the House to override the Governor, where he withholds his assent; the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule put the question, and with a two-thirds majority vote, the House agreed to override the Governor and passed the Bill into Law.”

See also  Tinubu: I don’t need pity, I need support *Says, economy at turning point

In another development, the House screened and confirmed nominees for the position of Chairman and Members of the Assembly Service Commission, including: Sampson Worlu as Chairman, Abinye Blessing Pepple, Blessing Belema Derefaka, Gbaranen Robinson, and Dorcas Amos as Members.

The statement recalled that on March 22, 2024, the House passed the Rivers State Assembly Service Commission (Amendment) Bill into Law, wherein the House donated back to itself the power to appoint the Chairman and Members of the Assembly Service Commission.

The statement added: “On a sad note, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Amaewhule, announced the demise of Mr Lucky Amadi, the husband of the honourable Member for Obio/Akpor Constituency II, Hon. Emilia Lucky Amadi, and stated that Members would pay a condolence visit to their colleague.”

Advertisement
Continue Reading

News

BREAKING: Five days after sacking Ganduje, Kano judge reverses self

Published

on

Justice Usman Mallam Na’Abba, of the Kano State High Court, on Monday, reversed himself five days after making an order barring Abdullahi Ganduje National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), from parading himself or performing any official function in that capacity.

In vacating the order made ex-parte, following a plea by Haladu Gwanjo and Laminu Sani Barguma, who claimed to be the Chairman and Secretary of the APC Ganduje Ward in Dawakin Tofa Local Government area of the state, for the suspension of the former Governor of the state from his present job, Na’Abba said he relied on fresh arguments made on the matter.

The fresh applications were brought by Glory Adah, a litigation secretary at the law firm representing the APC boss in a motion ex-parte, accompanied by a 27-paragraph affidavit in support, and a written address dated April 22nd, countering the grounds of his previous orders.

Na’Abba, who adjourned the case to April 30 for the hearing, said: “An order of interim injunction is hereby granted staying the execution of the order of interim injunction contained in the ruling of this court delivered on 17h April 2024 directing parties to maintain status quo ante as at the 15th day of April 2024 in relation to the suspension of the 4th respondent/applicant from the 1st respondent by the Ganduje Ward Executive Committee pending the hearing and determination of the 4th respondent/applicant motion on notice.”

Advertisement

See also  Tinubu: I don’t need pity, I need support *Says, economy at turning point
Continue Reading

Trending