Malami can’t save you, Oyo PDP tells sacked LG Chairmen

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State, on Tuesday, described the desire of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) for a return to running the local government system in the state as one that cannot be assisted via a directive by Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

In a statement by the party’s publicity secretary, Akeem Olatunji, the PDP advised the Oyo APC to look for another saviour, mentioning that Malami was not constitutionally empowered to “assist them in foisting illegality on the good people of Oyo State at the grassroots level.”

The party tasked the caretaker in the 33 local government areas and 35 local council development areas to continue to face governance, noting that the members of the All Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Oyo State chapter were merely seeking attention.

Chiding Malami, the PDP referencing December 10, 2004, Supreme Court judgment delivered by Justice Muhammadu Lawal Uwais, pursuant to section 162 (5) of the Constitution said: “if the President or any of his agents had any grievances or whatsoever with any tier of government, they should go to court.”

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It would be recalled that in a letter dated January 14, 2020, Malami had asked state governors operating caretaker committees at local government level to immediately disband such committees and restore democratically elected representatives.

Malami had argued that caretaker committees were outrightly illegal and unconstitutional as they amounted to a breach of the provisions of Section 7(1) of the 1999 constitution (as amended).

The statement read in parts, “Oyo State PDP as the ruling party is advising APC in Oyo State to look for their saviour elsewhere as Mr Abubakar Malami is not constitutionally empowered to assist them in foisting illegality on the good people of Oyo State at the grassroots level.

“Hence, the Caretaker Chairmen across the 33 Local Councils and 35 LCDAs are enjoined to face the herculean task before them and disregard the former illegal Chairmen who are merely seeking attention.

“Rather than poke nose into the internal affairs of Oyo State, Mr Abubakar Malami should be more concerned about Federal Government’s various disregard of judiciary pronouncements and lack of respect for rule of law.

“Nigeria as a federation is governed by constitution not by a decree fiat and it’s not anybody’s fault that the drafters of Nigerian Constitution put the control, legislation and supervision of the local governments under the purview of the State governments through the various State House of Assemblies.

“I want to reiterate that nowhere in the 1999 Constitution is the President or his agents given the power to withhold funds due to States or Local Government Councils or even the National Judicial Council by virtue of the provision of Section 162 subsection (9) thereof. In other words, the President has no supervisory power over the state and the local government councils.

“Nigeria as a country is practising federalism not a unitary system of government, hence the needs for separation of power and avoid ridiculous action that can jeopardize the image of Nigeria within the comity of Nations.

“Furthermore, the Supreme Court judgement delivered by Justice Muhammadu Lawal Uwais, CJN, on 10th of December 2004 stated clearly that pursuant to section 162 (5) of the Constitution; if the President or any of his agents have any grievances or whatsoever with any tier of government, he should go to court.

“Oyo State PDP as the ruling party is advising APC in Oyo State to look for their saviour elsewhere as Mr Abubakar Malami is not constitutionally empowered to assist them in foisting illegality on the good people of Oyo State at the grassroots level.

“Hence, the Caretaker Chairmen across the 33 Local Councils and 35 LCDAs are enjoined to face the herculean task before them and disregard the former illegal Chairmen who are merely seeking attention.”

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