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Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere

Lawmakers Raise Alarm Over Alleged Move To Legalise LG Chairmen’s Tenure In Rivers



Members of the 10th Senate and House of Representatives belonging to opposition political parties have raised the alarm over alleged move to use Federal High Court to legalise what they called illegal extension of Local Government chairmen’s tenure in Rivers State, including freezing their accounts.

The lawmakers numbering about 60, in a statement issued in Abuja by its spokesperson, Hon. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, stated that they’ve received credible intelligence of a plot to use the Federal High Court to secure a secret exparte order that will attempt to legalise the extension of the about-to-expire tenure of LGA Chairmen in Rivers state.

The lawmakers said that this plot was being perpetrated by former members of the State House of Assembly, who have lost legitimacy as lawmakers the very moment they decamped to the All Progressives Congress (APC), after they illegally amended Sections of the Law No. 5 of 2018 extending the tenure of elected Local Government chairmen in Rivers State.

They also said they were raising the alarm in view of the legitimacy of the desperate move, which if not halted, can lead to anarchy and collapse of constitutional governance.


They warned that the opposition lawmakers will not take lightly any move to extend the tenure of the about-to-be expired LGA chairmen under any guise or method, adding that the monthly allocations of Rivers State LGAs can’t be stolen using a court order.

The federal lawmakers, therefore, called on the eminent judges of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to beware of the alleged plot, saying that allowing such will throw Rivers into crisis.

They also appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a NADECO member and Democrat to call those pursuing their selfish and greedy ambition by illegally using his name to destabilise constitutional activities in Rivers State to order.

The statement reads, “We have received credible intelligence of a plot to use the Federal High court to secure a secret exparte that will attempt to legalise the illegal extension of the about to expire tenure of LGA Chairmen in Rivers state which was carried out by the former members of the state assembly who has lost legitimacy as lawmakers the very moment they decamped to APC knowing fully well that there was no crisis in PDP hence their seat as lawmakers became vacant immediately the remaining legitimate members declared the seats vacant.

“We are raising this alarm in view of the legitimacy of the desperate move which if not halted can lead to anarchy and collapse of constitutional governance.
We want to call on the Chief Judge of Federal High Court, Justice Omotasho and other eminent judges to be aware of these plots that those behind it are already celebrating that the exparte order is in thier pocket awaiting release to the media even when the case have not been heard.


“To our respected Chief Judge, Hon Justice John Terhemba Tsoho. We are compelled to publicly bring this shocking developments to your attention for the interest of justice and preservation of the image of our nations judiciary. Few days ago we received credible intelligence that a suit filled on behalf of Abuja based former house of assembly members in rivers whose seats have been declared vacant over their decampment to apc even when there was no crisis in pdp but still parading as lawmakers and changing laws in the middle of the night from the corner of the hotel rooms in Abuja and emoha LGA were they are gathered and made to make legislative announcement without the legitimacy or due process to do so.

“Our Dear Chief Judge Hon Justice John Terhemba Tsoho, we wish to inform you that this strange suit which our intelligence have shown is alleged to have been filled at the registry of the Federal High Court will be assigned to Justice Omotasho who is expected to issue an injunction legalising the illegal amendment and extension of the tenure of the about to expire LGA Chairmen in Rivers in order to keep them in office with their tenure extended without an election is a great aberration and risk capable of tarnishing the image of the judiciary.

“We are lawmakers have great respect and confidence in the federal high court to nip these development in the bud if still active. we are confident that these men of unimaginably desperation touting the name of respected judges in their bear parlour gossip are out to ruin the respected name of judges of the federal high court and the court must be careful in handling such obnoxious application which wants to carry out a judicial cum legislative coup against democracy by extending tenure of local govt chairmen whose tenure is about to expire without allowing constitutional democratic electoral process to take place. the desperation of these abuja based former lawmakers and their penchant for any action that is illegitimate propelled us not to take the intelligence lightly hence the need to draw the attention of our respected judges to these alleged emerging development that must be crushed at all cost for the sake of image of our judiciary.

“For those who dont know both in the judiciary and the entire country, let us state it clearly. The crux of the matter is that the former members of the rivers state house of assembly whose seat in the assembly was declared vacant came out from the hiding one day and announced an illegal amendment to the rivers state lga laws and unilateral without the legitimacy carried an extension of tenure of the LGA chairmen which is about to expire and said they can be in office as long as required without any tenure again or election process as the basis for holding such office. this was a legislative coup, legislative madness and a usurping of the process for constitutional democracy.

“The law was dead on arrival as it was made by men and women unknown to law, it was made by people without the legitimacy to make such law and hence their claim of over ridding the governors consent was the height of their legislative madness and political hallucination. Now sensing that the illegal amendment is unenforceable, these men and thier agents decided to drag the judiciary into these madness with the alleged application seeking to issue them exparte for the unenforceable to be enforced including an order to seize and hijack the lga allocation due to rivers and be sharing it from the comfort of the room in abuja. this will be anarchy, this is be a great assault to democracy and rule of law and if our judiciary is ever dragged into this,our nation is finished, hence our call on the NJC, FHC, NBA to ensure that our court is not used to carry out the infamous alleged act of using an exparte order to legalise the illegal tenure extension for local govt chairmen in rivers state whose tenure are about to expire. We are also calling on the federal govt to be at alert including the judiciary as we have been informed about another prayer in the suit seeking to order the accountant general and ministry of finance to seize the legitimate local govt allocation of rivers ,deny the rivers people access to their constitutional funds including LGA workers and primary school teachers who will not be paid while the money should be sent to the lga chairmen whose tenure have days who in their retirement will be sharing the allocation of the people based on the illegal law that claimed to have extended their tenure without any election producing them. We wish to state clearly that Opposition lawmakers will not take lightly any move to extend the tenure of the about to expire LGA chairmen under any guise or method.”


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