Sesugh Akume, a businessman in Benue, has sued Samuel Ortom, governor of the state, over the government’s delay in conducting local government elections.
In a suit filed at the high court in Makurdi, the state capital, Akume accused the governor of appointing his cronies as sole administrators in local governments across the state, thereby denying him the right to participate in electoral process and governance.
Also joined as defendants in the suit are the state’s attorney-general and commissioner of justice, speaker of the house of assembly and the Benue State Independent Electoral
Akume argued that some provisions of the electoral act, the state’s electoral law, the local government law are inconsistent with the the constitution of the country.
He said the local government law does not make mention of elections into the local government areas but quick to empower the governor to appoint executive chairman and caretaker committees.
Whereas, the state’s electoral law provides for a date of election to be appointed by the commission, including notice of such elections.
“That also, I have being severally deprived of my right to democratically participate in the process of electing the local Government officials of my Local Government (Logo) as elections for these positions are not conducted as and when due,” he said.
“That the entirety of the Local Government Law does not make mention of elections into the Local Government Law but rather is quick to jump at empowering the Governor to appoint Executive Chairman/Committee if “elections can not be held FOR WHATEVER REASON”.
“That the Defendants at various times, jointly and severally conspire to appoint their cronies as Transition/Caretaker Committees or Sole Administrators howsoever called, thereby denying me the right to participate in the electoral process of Governance at the Local Government level.
“That as a Citizen, eligible to run for office at the Local Government level and as an Electorate, the actions of the Defendants jointly and severally of appointing Transition/Caretaker Committees or Sole Administrators howsoever called, has exposed me to injustice and deprivation.
“That if the action (or inactions) of the Defendants are allowed to continue, it will occasion continuing breach, deprivation and denial of my rights.”