Rivers: Court dissolves 22 elected local councils

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…Explosion occurs near court before ruling

The Federal High court in Rivers State has on Thursday, dismissed the 22 local government council chairmen in the state.  The local government chairmen were fired because their election contravened a court order which had earlier been issued restraining it, Justice Lambo Akanbi, the prciding judge said.

Lambo also dissolved the local government councils.

However, there was a bomb blast near the court shortly before the judgement was passed.

Governor of the state, Nyesom Wike, confirmed the explosion.

“The explosion was close to the high court, but nobody was killed, and it didn’t affect the building,” he said. “I think they were trying to disrupt the result.”

the local government election that brought on board the now dismissed local government chairmen was conducted by former governor of the state, Rotimi Amaechi of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

It is believed widely that the judgment  obtained by Wike, odering the sack of the local government council chairmen is a way of getting back at Amaechi. The discord between the two has been undisguised ever since.

Therefore, the chairmen have approached the industrial court in Bayelsa state on the same matter.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mayor of Port Harcourt, Chimbiko Akarolo, led a delegation of the council chairmen to the APC secretariat in Abuja to seek the party’s intervention in the matter.

He had told the party that since they resumed office, running the local council administration had not been easy because the state had been unfriendly.

“The state has failed to realise that they should serve the people. There is no way the third tier of government can function without finance,” Akarolo told the National Chaiman of APC, John Odigie-Oyegun.

Akarolo added: “We want to let you know that as soon as we got into office the minority party informed us that as soon as they get into office at the state level, we’ll be dissolved and we took the right step, we went to court and we got an injunction dissuading them from doing that but we want to let you know that as soon as we did that the government went on air directing all financial institutions not to deal with us.

“We can’t take loan, we cannot function, we can’t take facilities. As I speak, our allocation has been seized; workers have not been paid. We have not been paid; we have written series of petitions and we have a copy that we gave to the EFCC. All these are aimed at strangulating the third tier of government and you know when there’s no finance, the party can’t function.”

 Rivers PDP Chairman, Felix Obuah Applauds Dissolution of LG Council 

 The chairman of the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bro Felix Obuah says the nullification of the illegal Local Government Council election in the State by the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt is a welcome development.

The PDP chairman said by this impartial judgement, the Court has once more strengthened the confidence and trust of the people in the Nigerian judiciary as the last hope of the common man.

Reacting to the double court victory recorded by the striking out of the All Progressives Congress, APC’s application of withdrawal by Honourable Justice Bello Quadri in one of the suits and the dissolution of the illegal Council Chairmen and Councilors by Honourable Justice Lambo Akanbi, all of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt through a statement issued on his behalf by his Special Adviser on Media, Jerry Needam, the PDP State Chairman thanked the leadership and members of the party for their calm disposition while the litigation lasted despite all acts of intimidation and brigandage by the APC to provoke them.

Thanking God for vindicating the party’s position that there was no council election in the State, Bro Obuah noted that the court victory is not only for the PDP but also the entire Rivers people who are the beneficiaries of the sanity and rules of law that have been ushered in by the council election nullification

He however appealed for calm and co-operation from all, saying that the Nyesom Wike led-government is humane and capable of instituting a legacy that will serve the general good of all Rivers people being the Governor of Rivers State and not Governor of PDP.

Bro Obuah also wishes to congratulate the PDP leadership, all the members and supporters of the party across the 23 Local Government Areas for their patience, support and prayers throughout the trying period, stressing that the PDP will pay them back by being considerate, magnanimous and God-fearing in victory.