The governor of Rivers State, Chief Barr. Nyesom Wike is reported to have suspended three Local Government Chairmen in Rivers State.
The Local Government are Port Harcourt , Abua and Degema.
The Supreme Court of Nigeria in a five man panel headed by Justice Olubolade Joe in a unanimous judgement delivered on December 11, 2019 strips state governors of the power to sack elected local government (LG) chairmen and councillors. The appointment of caretaker chairmen by state governors has also been banned by the same court ruling. The Supreme Court ruled that henceforth ‘the act giving legislative powers to state Assembly members to undertake the process of sacking elected local government chairmen is null and void’. The panel of judges unanimously declared that only the legislative arm of a LG Council is empowered with the residual constitutional backing to sack council chairmen that maybe found blameworthy of any gross misconduct or violations of rules guiding public servants
This judgement is sequel to an appeal filed by 16 Ekiti state LG chairmen who were elected during Ayodele Fayose’s tenure as Ekiti state Governor and were sacked by the incumbent Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti state. This Supreme Court judgement has finally put an end to the abuse of power by state assemblies and governors who sack elected LG chairmen at will. Justice Olubolade Joe-led panel also directed that a copy of the judgement should be served to all 36 State Houses of Assembly and the Minister of FCT on or before the December 30, 2019..
Unfortunately, the affected Chairmen would never consider the option of challenging this unlawful act of the governor because they were appointed by the governor, not elected by the people.