The Constitutionality of Local Government Law of Ogun State, 2006.

PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION

The Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Ijebu-Ode branch sues Ogun State Governor, A. G. Ogun State and Ors. to Court challenging the constitutionality of a law known as and cited Local Government Law of Ogun State, 2006.

The Vice-Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association and litigation Lawyer Moruff O. Balogun, Esq., has issued an originating summons against the Governor of Ogun State & 2 Ors., challenging the provisions of Sections 39, 40 and 43 of the Local Government Law of Ogun State, 2006 and urging the Court to declare the said sections null and void, and of no effect as same contravene Section 7(1) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

The suit was filed at Ijebu-Igbo Judicial Division of the Ogun State High Court of Justice, on the 16th day of February, 2023.

Mr. Moruff submitted the following questions to the court for determination:

(1) Whether the provision of Section 39 of the Local Government Law of Ogun State, 2006 which empowers the Governor to suspend or dissolve erring Local Governments and Councils and appoint any person(s) or caretaker committee to run the affairs of Local Government instead of democratically elected officers, is in breach of Section 7 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and is thus unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever?

(2) Whether the provision of Section 40 of the Local Government Law of Ogun State, 2006 which empowers the Governor to appoint transition committee in default of election to run affairs of Local Government (s) instead of democratically elected officers is in breach of section 7(1) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and is thus unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever?

(3) Whether the provision of Section 40 of Local Government Laws of Ogun State, 2006 which empowers majority members of House of Assembly to give approval to the appointment of the transition committee made by the Governor to run the affairs of the Local government(s) instead of democratically elected officers is in breach of Section 7(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and is thus unconstitutional, ultra vires, null and void and of no effect whatsoever?

(4) Whether the provision of section 43 of the Local Government Law of Ogun State, 2006 which empowers the Governor to suspend Local Government Chairman or Vice- Chairman for a period of not more than three months pending investigation into the conduct of such Chairman or Vice- Chairman, pursuant to the provisions of Section 37 and 39 of the same Law is in breach of Section 7(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and is thus unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever?

The claimant claims against the defendants jointly and/or severally as follows:

(1) A declaration that the provision of Section 39 of the Local Government Law of Ogun State, 2006 which empowers the Governor (1st defendant) to suspend or dissolve erring Local Governments and councils and appoint any person(s) or caretaker committee, to run the affairs of Local Governments instead of democratically elected officers is in contravention of Section 7(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and therefore null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

(2) A declaration that the provision of Section 40 of the Local Government Laws of Ogun state, 2006 which empowers the Governor to appoint transition committee in default of election to run the affairs of Local government (s) instead of democratically elected officers is in contravention of section 7(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and therefore null and void, and of no effect whatsoever.

(3) A declaration that the provision of Section 40 of the Local Government Law of Ogun State, 2006 which empowers majority members of the House of Assembly to give approval to the appointment of the transition committee made by the Governor to run the affairs of the Local Government(s) instead of democratically elected officers is in contravention of Section 7(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and therefore null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

(4) A declaration that the provision of Section 43 of the Local Government Law of Ogun State, 2006 which empowers the Governor to suspend Local Government Chairman or Vice –Chairman for a period of not more than three months pending investigation into the conduct of such chairman or Vice-Chairman pursuant to the provisions of Section 37 and 39 of the same law is in contravention of Section 7(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and therefore null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

Hearing date is yet to be issued.

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