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Alleged embezzlement: Kaduna reinstates LG chairmen suspended by assembly

Government of Kaduna State has reinstated the suspended chairmen of Chikun and Giwa local governments to their offices “with immediate effect”.

The decision was taken by the state government based on the advice of the state attorney-general.

According to the attorney-general, the suspension of the LG chairmen was unconstitutional.

The state house of assembly suspended the chairmen in May 2022, over allegations of financial misappropriation.

The decision to suspend the two council chairmen followed a motion by Ahmed Chokali, member representing Zaria Kewaye constituency.

Aggrieved by the decision, the affected persons wrote separate letters to the state attorney-general, challenging the legality of their suspension.

Responding in a legal opinion, Aisha Dikko, the state attorney-general, said after a probe into the circumstances surrounding the suspension, it was determined as illegal.

“We have carefully analysed the clear provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which guarantees a system of local government by democratically elected local government councils,” Dikko said.

‘In the same vein, Section 8 of the Constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria enshrines that every state of the federation shall ensure the existence of local government councils through enactment of laws that specify the structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.

“In Kaduna State, the Local Government Law No 3 of 2018 which was duly passed by the house of assembly, is the legislation governing local government administration.

“Local government councils are an independent organ of government and also have their duly elected legislative councils.

“The procedures for the removal of the chairman and vice chairman of a local government council in the state have been clearly spelt out by the Kaduna State Local Government Law 2018.”

She added that based on similar matters handled by the supreme court on the subject matter, “it is our advice that the suspension of the chairmen of Chikun and Giwa local governments  is a clear violation of both the extant provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(as amended) and the Local Government Law of Kaduna state”.

Consequently, in a letter, the secretary to the state government wrote to the two chairmen, directing them to return to their offices.

The Kaduna state government also confirmed the reinstatement of the LG chairmen in a statement on Wednesday.

“KDSG has informed the elected chairmen of Chikun and Giwa Local Govt Councils that they should continue in their roles, declaring that their suspension by the House of Assembly violates the Constitution and the laws of Kaduna State,” the statement reads.

“A legal opinion by Attorney-General Aisha Dikko stated that Section 8 of the Constitution and the Kaduna State Local Govt Law No. 3 of 2018 place LGs as independent organs of government, with duly elected legislative councils, and clear procedures for removing elected officials.

“The Attorney General of Kaduna state, categorically stated that “the procedures for the removal of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of a Local Government Council in the state have been clearly spelt out by the Kaduna State Local Government Law 2018.”

“The Attorney-General also argued that decisions of the Supreme Court show that the suspension of the LG chairmen is unlawful, and affirmed the need to uphold the democratic status of the local govts.

“KDSG has notified the affected chairmen accordingly.”

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