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ACN Slams House of Reps Over Resolution on Local Govt

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The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has described the House of Representatives as lawless, petty and vindictive following its resolution asking the federal government to stop allocation to states in which local governments have been dissolved.

  In a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party asked the Accountant-General of the Federation to disregard the meaningless resolution, in view of the ruling of the Supreme Court in the Lagos case that no one, not the President or the National Assembly, has the powers to withhold local government allocation for whatever reason.

''The resolution passed by the House of Representatives is therefore unconstitutional, illegal and ultra vires, and should be ignored by the executive. The Senate should also be careful not to lend its backing to such an irresponsible and arrogant show of power by the House of Representatives.

''The resolution, which is very typical of the PDP and the institutions it dominates, makes a mockery of the Supreme Court, whose decisions override any law, and undermines the judiciary,'' it said.

ACN wonders if the resolution by the PDP-dominated House is the ruling party's reaction to the recent judicial victory of the ACN in the Ekiti gubernatorial election case, since the resolution  seems to target the recent dissolution of the local councils in Ekiti in particular.

''It is sad for the PDP that instead of using its majority in the National Assembly to advance the course of democracy and enhance the welfare of Nigerians, all the party can do - through its clueless members in the House of Representatives - is to dabble into an issue that portrays the party as a bad loser.

''If the House of Representatives does not know, there are more important issues begging for its attention that the dissolution of local councils. There is the worsening insecurity and kidnapping in parts of Nigeria, and there is the illegal and unconstitutional action of renegade lawmakers in Ogun state,'' the party said.

ACN explained that Gov. Kayode Fayemi followed the law in dissolving the local councils in Ekiti, and that there was no court order restraining him from doing so at the time he did.

''The case filed by the council chairmen in Ekiti, seeking to restrain the governor from exercising his powers to dissolve the councils, has been struck out after they withdrew the case.

''In any case, Section 23 b of the Ekiti Local Government administration (Amendment Law) of 2001, passed by the Ekiti State House of Assembly long before Fayemi became Governor, empowers the Governor to dissolve the councils, provided such dissolution will not exceed a period of 12 months. The law also gives the Governor the powers to appoint a seven-member caretaker committee in each council until elections are held.

''The Governor was in the process of tabling the dissolution before the State House of Assembly, as stipulated by the law, when this meaningless resolution was passed. We are therefore left with no choice to ask all concerned to ignore the resolution, which is meant for trash can,''  the party said.