Court Fixes 27 June For Suit On Benue LG Elections

Press Statement

Court Fixes 27 June for Suit on LG Elections; No Date for Abuse of LG, Unlawful Sack of Elected Officials and Appointment of Illegal, Unconstitutional LG Caretaker Committees Case in Benue

Today, the Honourable Mr Justice J M Shishi of the Benue State High Court in Makurdi declined our application for accelerated hearing in the matter of Sesugh Akume v Benue State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC) (with suit number MHC/449/2024) and adjourned the substantive matter to 27 June 2024 for definite hearing. BSIEC have replied to the court processes we had served on them.

Mr. Sesugh Akume

In this suit, we ask the court to compel BSIEC to conduct local government elections on time ready for the incoming administrations to be sworn in on 29 June when the term of the current officials ends. Upon filing the action on 13 March, BSIEC released a timetable dated 5 April wherein it scheduled the elections for 6 July, a week after the handover date, which is an abnormality and unconstitutional.

It is noteworthy that today was the very first time the matter was heard since it was filed on 13 March along with an application for accelerated hearing due to the nature of the case.

Our second case today, Sesugh Akume v Governor of Benue & 4 Others (with suit number MHC/346/2023), before the Honourable Mr Justice P T Kwahar also of the High Court of Benue in Makurdi, was not heard and has been adjourned with no given date. The officials stated that the courtroom is being used by a commission of inquiry and all cases before that court have been placed on hold indefinitely.

The officials had stated that the court could not sit on last adjourned date 8 May (the date set at the court’s last sitting on 26 March) because the courtroom was undergoing renovation.

In this suit, we ask the court to sack the illegal, unconstitutional caretaker committees; to declare nullified and expunge from the Local Government Law any provision that makes room for suspending elected local government councils and/or appointing unelected local government councils, as all such provisions are now outdated having been declared invalid by the Supreme Court; to declare that sacking elected local government councils is a coup d’etat , etc.

We look forward to promptly replying to the BSIEC processes and serving them, as we await 27 June. We keep the faith and remain steadfast, waiting for the date set for the local government abuse case.

Sesugh Akume
23 May 2024

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