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PDP, FCTA reject tenure elongation for area council officials

By Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja
20 May 2022   |   2:58 am
The ruling of an Abuja High Court, which extended the tenure of area councils’ chairmen and councillors by one year, has attracted condemnation from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).

Federal High Court, Abuja

The ruling of an Abuja High Court, which extended the tenure of area councils’ chairmen and councillors by one year, has attracted condemnation from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).

Justice Ibrahim Mohammed of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), in suit No. FCT/HC/W/910/2022, had ruled: “Based on the Electoral Act 2022, which stipulates that the tenure of office of the chairmen of the area councils in FCT would now be four years, instead of three, the existing chairmen, whose tenure were meant to expire today, have another one year in office.”

But the opposition party described the judgment as “bizarre and a very dangerous design by APC, in connivance with certain judicial officers, to abridge our democratic system and foist anarchy on our country.”

Protesting against the judgment at a press briefing, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, stated: “The clear intent of this judgment is to abridge our electoral process; overthrow the entire outcome of the FCT Area Council election held on Saturday, February 12, 2022, which was overwhelmingly won by PDP candidates; halt the swearing-in of the newly elected chairmen and councilors; and impose an undemocratic government on the FCT.

“The PDP vehemently and without equivocation rejects the judgment in its entirety. This judgment cannot be executed, as it is unconstitutional, illegal, baseless and devoid of any legal foundation and reasoning for implementation.”

PDP argued that the four-year tenure provided for the chairmen and councillors in the new Electoral Act 2022, upon which the judgment is based, cannot be made retroactive to apply to outgoing chairmen and councillors, who were elected under the 2010 Electoral Act, which provided for a three-year tenure commencing from the date of their swearing-in.

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