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Ebonyi Attorney General Blasts State Lawmakers Over Sack Of All LGA Chairmen, Others


IGNATIUS OKPARA, Abakaliki – The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Ebonyi State, Dr. Ben Igwenyi, on wednesday lambasted members of the State House of Assembly, for allegedly attempting to cross its constitutional line of duties to Usurp that of the executive arm of government in the state.

He accused the legislators of being masterminded by a prominent politician in the state whom he said wanted to be a governor without an election.

According to him, the directive of the House dissolving duly appointed Caretaker Chairmen of the 13 Local Governments and 28 Coordinators of Development Centres in the State amongst other directives, was abuse of their power and extant laws.

African Examiner reports that the State House of Assembly had on Tuesday through a resolution, dissolved the Caretaker Chairmen of the 13 local government areas, and the 28 newly appointed Coordinators of the Development Centres in the state.

The House, which sat with 18 out of 24 members, also demanded that the State Governor should submit details of the financial accruals to the state, including Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Federation Allocation and financial assistance by donor agencies, to the House of Assembly on or before Friday, January 9, 2015.

The Attorney-General in a press conference in Abakaliki, stated that the power to appoint and dissolve any statutory body or agency or department of the executive branch of government remains the prerogative of the Governor or President.

He said “The power which resides in the House is to suggest or ask the executive to remove or abrogate an existing executive institution, person or agency which the Executive may or may not comply with.

“Resolutions by Parliament have no force of law but merely advisory or persuasive and that is why the President or Governor can only comply with resolutions if he so pleases and not otherwise as purported by Ebonyi State House of Assembly.

“At the National level, we have the recent case of Ms. Aruma Oteh, Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission whom the National Assembly wanted out of her position in 2013 and did not provide for her office in 2014 budget but she is still doing her job even in 2015 because the President wants her.

“In similar vein, about four (4) resolutions had been passed by the National Assembly urging the President to remove the Minister of Petroleum Resources but she is still there because the Executive President wants her,” he said.

Besides that, Dr Igwenyi said that there are three different suits: HAB/141/2014 (before Ebonyi High Court), HAB/143/2014 (before Ebonyi High Court), and FHC/ABJ/CS/1106/2014 (before Federal High Court Abuja).”

“All challenging the appointment of the Caretaker Chairmen and Coordinators as well as seeking the stoppage of release of funds to Local Governments in Ebonyi State by FAAC because of appointment of Caretaker Committee Chairmen without approval of the State House of Assembly.

He said if there is respect for the rule of law, the House of Assembly shouldn’t have dabbled into passing resolutions on a matter before the court, even as he said that the House of Assembly was a party to some of the suits.

The Attorney General therefore pleaded with all and sundry to ignore the confusion being generated by the House and its sponsors. He insisted that the resolution of the House has no legal consequences.

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