By: Eba Alobo Ishmael
A high court sitting in Calabar has granted an interim order restraining the governor of Cross River, Sen. Ben Ayade from appointing and swearing in caretaker management committees to manage, administer or perform the functions of a democratically elected Local Government Council Chairman.
The order was given upon reading through the affidavit and due consideration of the exhibits presented before the court after hearing the submissions put forward by Barr. U. Eteng.
The order which is contained in Suit No. HC/514/2018 was issued by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Michael Edem. The order is however pending the hearing of the Motion on Notice by the court which was adjourned to December 3rd, 2018 for argument on the motion by the parties involved.
The suit which was instituted by the Cross River Chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC) has other claimants as Obono Onem Obono representing Yakurr, Ekaha Effiom who represents Calabar Municipal, Hon. Polycarp Effiom (Akamkpa), Rt. Hon. Mkpanam Obo Ekpo (Biase) and Benedict Lukpata representing Yala Local Government Council respectively.
The order reads “An order of interim injunction restraining the 1st Defendant, his agents, servants and functionaries from appointing, swearing-in a Caretaker Management Committee, Sole Administrator and or any other outfit so-called to administer, manage or perform the functions of a democratically elected Local Government Councils, howsoever pending the hearing of the motion on Notice”.
It further reads ” An order restraining the Defendants by themselves, privies or agents from swearing-in any caretaker committee so appointed to run the administration of the 18 Local Government Councils of Cross River State is breach of Section 7(1) 1999 constitution and section 2(1) Local Government Law, 2007.
Furthermore, the order added “An order of accelerated hearing of the original summons by virtue of the urgency of the issues raised. And for such further order(s) as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances. It is hereby ordered that the respondents be put on Notice.
The order was issued under the seal of the court and the hand of the presiding Chief Judge and signed by Barr. Magdalene Effiom, the deputy Chief registrar of the court.
Published in maiden edition, Lens Newspapers Vol. 1 No. 15.