Politics

Senate urges FG to withhold statutory allocations of unelected local councils

The Senate has passed a resolution urging the federal government to withhold statutory allocations of local government councils not democratically elected.

This followed the adoption of a motion on “Urgent need to halt the erosion of democracy; the dissolution of elected councils in Benue” at plenary on Friday, sponsored by Senator Abba Moro (PDP- Benue).

Presenting the motion, Mr Moro said democratically elected local government councils had been dissolved by the Benue government, which replaced them with caretaker committees.

He said constituting caretaker committees was an aberration and alien to the 1999 Constitution.

Mr Moro said it was the constitutional responsibility of every state to ensure the existence of local government councils by law.

‘’There are subsisting court rulings directing the governor, the House of Assembly, their agents, privies, among others, from tampering with the tenure of the elected local councils,’’ he said.

Senator Victor Umeh (LP-Anambra) said section 7 of the constitution guaranteed that there should be democratically elected officials of local government councils.

He said emasculating elected council officials and replacing them with caretaker committees violated the constitution.

He said the National Assembly must rise to protect the laws by defending the constitution.

Senator Adams Oshoimole(APC-Edo) said the Supreme Court had ruled that state governors had no power to dissolve elected local government councils.

He urged the Senate to prevail on the Minister of Finance not to release statutory allocation to unelected local government councils in the country.

Senator Ali Ndume (APC-Borno) said the matter had to do with the constitution, urging the dissolved councils to approach law courts for redress.

Senate President Godswill Akpabio said the dissolution of elected local government councils by the state government was illegal.

The Senate urged Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue to restore the elected local government councils in line with the constitution.