Lawyer sues Umahi, Seeks Nullification of Caretaker Chairmen

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A lawyer, Kelechi Chukwu has petitioned Governor David Umahi asking the court to nullify the appointment of caretaker chairmen into the 13 Council areas in the state.

Chukwu who is a native of Onicha Local Government Area of the state and an Enugu based lawyer, in suit number HAB/90/2030, also prayed the court to direct Governor Umahi and the Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC) to immediately conduct election for chairmanship positions and all other elective positions in the 13 local government councils in the state.

Recall that election was fixed by EBSIEC for March this year as the tenure of the Council Chairmen was about to expire on May 29, but it was later postponed following the outbreak of the Coronavirus in the country.

Similarly, the House of Assembly passed the Coronavirus and other Infectious Diseases Law which empowered the governor to appoint caretaker committee Chairmen to run the councils pending when elections will be conducted.

Chukwu, in the originating summons to the suit, argued that appointment of Caretaker is in breach of the Constitution.

He also asserted that the State House of Assembly has no power to make any law empowering the Governor to appoint caretaker committee chairmen into the local government councils or to approve such appointments.

He further contended that the Caretaker Chairmen so appointed and seeing in were occupying the said positions illegally and in contravention of the constitution.

He therefore prayed the Court to set aside section 26 of the Covid-19 law of Ebonyi state that empowers the Governor to appoint caretaker committee chairmen.

The Lawyer also urged the court to restrain the 13 Caretaker Chairmen perpetually from parading themselves as Chairmen or from running the affairs of the Councils.

Mr Chukwu further urged the court to set aside the appointment of the Caretaker committee chairmen by Mr Umahi and also to compel them to refund any money collected while illegally occupying the said offices.

The matter has been slated to come up for hearing at the State High Court on September 21 before the Chief Judge of Ebonyi state, Anselem Nwigwe.

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