CONSTITUTIONAL LAW – CONSTITUTIONAL VALIDITY OF LEGISLATION – Whether Section 12(1) and (2) of the Local Government Law Cap 109 Revised Laws of Enugu State 2004 and Section 6(1) of the Local Government Area (Creation and Transition) Provision Law, CAP 110, Revised Law of Enugu State, 2004 granting power to the Governor of Enugu State to remove democratically-elected Chairmen of Local Government Councils and replace them with caretaker committee is inconsistent with Section 7 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999

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“On the question: whether the House of Assembly of Enugu State can enact the provisions of Section 12(1) & (2) of the Local Government Law, Cap 109 of the laws of Enugu State, 2004 and Section 6(1) of the Local Government Area (Creation and Transition/Provision Law, Cap 110 of the Laws of Enugu State, 2004 empowering the dissolution, by the Governor of Enugu State, of a democratically elected Local Government Council and in its stead, appointing a Caretaker or Transition Council to manage the affairs of the Local Government is in conflict with Section 7(1) of the 1999 Constitution, and therefore unconstitutional; it is my firm view that the House of Assembly acted ultra vires in enacting such provisions. In so doing, the House of Assembly of Enugu State failed, neglected and/or refused to be bound and/or guided by numerous authoritative judicial declarations and pronouncements on the issue. This Court in 1992, in AKAN v. ATTORNEY-GENERAL, CROSS-RIVER STATE (1982) 3 NCLR 881, had declared similar provisions unconstitutional and antithetic to the system of democratically elected Local Government council guaranteed by Section 7(1) of the Constitution. Other decisions rendered in this refrain include: AKPAN v. UMAH (2002) 2 NWLR (pt. 767) 710; A.G. PLATEAU STATE v. GOYOL (2007) NWLR (pt. 1059) 59; A.G. BENUE STATE v. HON. MUSA UMAR & ORS. (2008) 1 NWLR (pt. 1068) 311; EZE v. GOVERNOR, ABIA STATE (2014) 5-7 SC (pt. 1) 171, etc. This Court, on 9th December, 2016, had another occasion, in GOVERNOR, EKITI STATE v. PRINCE SANMI OLUBUNMO & ORS (2017) 13 NWLR (pt. 1551) 1 at 30-31 to further reiterate the point.” Per EKO, JSC in APC & ORS v. ESIEC & ORS (2021-LCER-40460-SC) (Pp 57 – 58 Paras D – F).

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