Lawmakers allege plot to extend expired terms of LGA chairs in Rivers State

Rivers State House of Assembly
Hon. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere speaks at the press conference..

A group of 60 federal lawmakers from opposition parties has raised concerns about a potential attempt to use the courts to illegally extend the terms of local government (LGA) chairmen in Rivers State.
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The lawmakers, led by Hon. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, claim that former Rivers State Assembly members who switched to the All Progressives Congress (APC) are behind the plot. These ex-lawmakers reportedly passed an amendment extending the chairmen’s tenure, an action the current lawmakers believe lacks legitimacy.

The group fears that the ex-lawmakers may seek an ex parte order from a Federal High Court judge to legitimize the extension. They specifically called on Chief Judge John Terhemba Tsoho and Justice Omotasho to be wary of such a scheme.

The lawmakers emphasized the importance of upholding democratic principles and conducting elections to fill the expiring positions. They also warned against any attempt to bypass this process through judicial intervention.
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The statement also expressed apprehension about a potential effort to freeze Rivers State LGA allocations using the court order. The lawmakers maintain that such a move would deprive the state and its people of vital funds.

The group also urged various bodies, including the National Judicial Council, the Federal High Court, and the Nigerian Bar Association, to safeguard the judiciary from being used for illegitimate purposes. They also called on the federal government to be vigilant.

The statement concluded with a firm stance from the lawmakers. They declared they will not tolerate any attempt to extend the terms of the LGA chairmen through illegal means.
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