…directs refund of public fund spent by TIC, immediate conduct of LG elections
By Ibrahim Sheriff (Gold)
The Kwara state High Court has declared appointment of Transitional Implementation Committees (TICs) in the sixteen (16) local governments of Kwara state by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq as illegal, describing the act as ‘Executive Rascality and Abuse of Power’.
In suit no KWS/117/2021, the Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD), an anti-corruption Civil Society Organization in Kwara State, had dragged the Kwara State Government to Court, challenging the legality of appointment of the Transition Implementation Committee (TIC) to man the affairs of all the 16 LGAs in Kwara State.
Delivering the judgement earlier today, Hon. Justice H.A. Gegele declared that section 29 (1) to (5) of the Kwara State Local Government Law, 2005 is in conflict with section 7(1) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and thus null, void and of no effect whatsoever to the extent that it empowered Governor of Kwara State to dissolve the democratically-elected Local Government councils and replace them with Transitional Implementation Committees/ Caretaker or whatsoever name called appointed by the Governor or any other body.
It would be recalled the dissolution of Local government councils had been a recurring decimal in Kwara State under successive administration, with the dissolution unsuccessfully challenged under Dr. Bukola Saraki and Abdulfatah Ahmed’s administrations respectively.
In a suit filed Enetsud , the Court declared that by virtue of the combined effect of section 7 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the provisions of section 18 and 28 the Kwara State Local Government Law, 2005 the Governor of Kwara State had no power to dissolve the democratically-elected councils of the sixteen Local Governments of Kwara State and that the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) does not recognize the purported TIC or any other name whatsoever called in Kwara State and the creation or appointing of such is therefore unconstitutional.
The Court furthered that Gov. AbdulRazaq and Kwara state Government lack vires to release or use Kwara State resources to fund purported TIC in view of sections 1(1), 7(1) and 15 (5) of the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and therefore granted an Order setting aside the purported appointment of TIC by the Kwara State Government of 5th March, 2021 or any other dates whatsoever.
Inauguration of the Illegal TIC Chairmen in March 2021 at Kwara state Government House in March, 2021
The Court also directed Gov. AbdulRazaq to recover/refund back to the State Treasury all funds, remunerations and benefits already paid to members of the said TICs and also conduct Local Government elections in the whole local government area of Kwara state with immediate effect in accordance with section 7 (1) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).