A Senior Advocate, Oba Maduabuchi, has called on the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN) to direct the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) to stop payment of monthly allocations to councils without democratically elected chairmen.
Malami recently described the operation of caretaker committees at the local government level as illegal, unconstitutional and directed all affected state governments to disband them with immediate effect.
In a letter addressed to the Oyo State Attorney General, Prof. Oyewo Oyelewo and dated January 14, 2020, Malami described the caretaker committees as illegal and unconstitutional.
In addition, in the said letter with reference number HAGF/Oyo/2020/Vol.l/l, the AGF further stated that the Committees amount to a breach of the provisions of Section 7(1) of the 1999 constitution (as amended).
In a statement in Abuja, Maduabuchi said governors have developed a nauseating propensity for treating the 1999 constitution with levity.
He said Section 7(1) of the 1999 constitution guaranteed a system of democratically elected local government councils and urged the various governors to ensure their existence under a law which provides for their establishment, structures composition, finance and function.
“It is elementary knowledge that it is the same constitution that established the office of every state government and also that of the president. The same constitution also set up the three tiers of government all independent of each other unless as limited by the same constitution.
“But the first thing almost every governor does is to dissolve the local government councils as elected by the people and in their stead, appoint what is known as interim management to run these Councils.”
The senior lawyer observed that this virulent assault on our grundnorm (the constitution) has resulted to various litigations and the courts have all maintained that the governors did not have the vires to either dissolve the duly elected Local Government Chairmen or to appoint interim management committee in their stead.
The lawyer explained that the AGF “is both a person and authority within the contemplation of section 287 of the 1999 enjoined to enforce the judgments of the superior courts in Nigeria. He is the chief law officer of the federation and he has the power nay duty to ensure that the constitution is protected and obeyed.