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Benue businessman asks court to void governor’s power to suspend LG chairmen

Benue businessman asks court to void governor’s power to suspend LG chairmen
September 06
22:25 2020

Sesugh Akume, a businessman based in Benue, has asked a high court in the state to nullify the law empowering governors to “arbitrarily” suspend local government chairmen.

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In a suit dated August 27, Akume prayed the court to declare that section 62 of the local government law, 2007, contradicts the provisions of the 1999 constitution.

The section authorises the suspension of local government chairman accused of corruption.

Joined as first and second respondents in the suit are Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue, and the state attorney-general.

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Akume argued that such a provision does not give the local government chairmen fair hearing and is against the fundamental rights of fair hearing and presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

He also sought an order that there are no known statutorily deductions from funds standing to the account of local government areas in the state except as strictly stated in the local government law.

The only statutory deductions to be made from the funds as stated in the law are towards the pension fund and the local government training fund.

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In the affidavit deposed in his application, Akume said: The governor or deputy governor or any person acting through him is in no position nor has discretionary powers to exercise in the appropriation, distribution of public funds already distributed to the local governments according to statute.”

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