Federal Allocation: Court Fixes May 22, To Hear LGs' Suit Against Rivers Govt, AGF Others | Independent Newspaper Nigeria

2024-05-02 19:51:22

Independent Newspapers Nigeria

ABUJA - A Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by Justice James Omotosho has adjourned to May 22, hearing

on a suit seeking to restrain the Rivers State Government from withholding the financial allocations of the 42 Local Government Councils in the State.

Justice Omotosho shifted the matter to enable parties already served with court's processes to respond accordingly.

The Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police Rivers, Director General State Security, Director SSS Rivers, Attorney-General of the Federation, Chairman Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Rivers State Government, AG Rivers State and Finance Commissioner in Rivers are 1st to 9th respondents respectively.

The plaintiffs on the other hand include; Dr Chidi LLoyd, Chairman, Emohua Local Government, Hon Alwell Ihunda Chairman, Port Harcourt Local goyvernment, Dr Nwanosike Samuel, Ikwerre Local Government, amongst others.

They sued the respondents over the financial allocation to the council as well as their personal security.

However, the court ordered service of court papers on the 1st to 4th and 6th respondents who were neither in court nor represented by any lawyer.

When the matter was called, Thursday, M. N. Umoh, Olumide Fusika SAN, Damian Okoro SAN, and Sammie Somiari SAN, appeared for the 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th respondents respectively, and all admitted service of court order to maintain status quo.

They asked for time to respond, adding that they are still within the time allowed by law to file their responses.

When the judge inquired if they were also served with the court's order directing all parties to maintain status quo, all but the 5th defendant admitted service.

Justice Omotosho told the respondents that he had declined to grant the interim order but after plaintiffs' counsel, Clement Ijom stated that salaries of teachers, primary health workers and other local government staff depend on the allocation, he then ordered parties to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the matter.

Subsequently, the judge ordered the respondents to file in their responses, while the summon is served on the remaining respondents.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/537/2024, and filed by their lawyer, Aliyu Hussein, the local government Chairmen, also sought an order prohibiting the defendants from preventing the enforcement or implementation of the newly amended Rivers State Local Government Law No.5 of 2024, pending the determination of the motion.

The council Chairmen had also prayed the court to restrain the security agencies from withdrawing the security personnel attached to them.

2024-05-02 News