Court stops FCT Minister from swearing in new council chairmen

By Moses Okorie

365Daily – An FCT High Court sitting in Kubwa has barred the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Malam Musa Bello from swearing in the newly elected six Area Council chairmen with their councillors over the new Electoral Law, which recommends four years term for FCT Area Council Chairmen instead of three.

In a press statement issued by the office of the Minister, Bello said his decision to suspend the swearing in of the council chairmen on Thursday, 19 May 2022, when a new tenure is supposed to start was in compliance with the court order.

He promised to revise to the normal order should courts of higher jurisdiction order so, while calling on the affected persons to remain calm and await further development.

The statement reads: ‘ Few days ago, we received communication of a judgment by a court in the Federal Capital Territory directing us to suspend the inauguration of the new Chairmen, based on the fact that the current Chairmen’s tenure would end today, 19th May 2022.

“According to the judgment, based on the recently signed Electoral Act of 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 years, the existing Chairmen whose tenure were meant to expire or end today, have another one year to continue, based on the new law.

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“So, as a law-abiding government, the FCT Administration has no option than to suspend the planned inauguration of the Six Area Council Chairmen of the Federal Capital Territory who were duly elected some weeks ago as a result of this injunction of the court.

“As an administration that is very conscious of the need to abide by the rule of law, even though we are not satisfied with the judgment of the court, we have no option but to comply.

While complying, we are also making efforts to vacate the judgment and if need arises, to appeal the judgment, so that the correct position of the law will be determined by the legal processes.

“In the interim therefore, we are very conscious of the fact that the stand of the court has raised a lot of concerns within certain sections of the Federal Capital Territory residents. I wish to appeal to everyone to be calm, to be law abiding and to await the outcome of the legal processes”, he stated.

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