• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Lagos LG caretaker committee: Court declines jurisdiction on NCP’s suit

Court

A Lagos State High Court on Monday declined further jurisdiction in a suit filed by the National Conscience Party (NCP) challenging the appointment of executive secretaries to manage the affairs of the 20 local government areas and 37 local council development areas in Lagos State.

Trial judge, Abdulfatal Lawal, had fixed the matter for hearing of the applications for stay of execution of the earlier judgment delivered by the court on October 23, 2015, but elected to decline further jurisdiction after confirming that the records of proceedings had been transmitted to the Court of Appeal.

In the said judgment, Lawal had declared the appointment of caretaker committees over the administration of local government councils in Lagos State as illegal and unconstitutional, and ordered the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) to conduct election within 30 days into the councils.

Dissatisfied, Lagos State filed notice of appeal against the judgment and prayed the court to stay execution of the judgment pending the hearing and determination of the appeal.

At the resumed hearing on Monday, counsel representing Adeniji Kazeem, the state’s attorney general and commissioner for justice, informed the court that the records of appeal had been transmitted to the Appeal Court thereby ousting the jurisdiction of the High Court to continue with the matter in accordance with Order 4 Rule 10 and 11 of the Court of Appeal Rules 2011.

The trial judge, who agreed with the argument, held that indeed his court had become functus officio of the matter, and subsequently declined jurisdiction.

The records of proceedings transmitted to the Court of Appeal were dated November 17, 2015.

According to the matter, the Lagos State government and LAISEC are contending that unless the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) gave voters register to LAISEC, election cannot be conducted in the state.

They argued further that the delay in the conduct of elections into local government could not be blamed on the Lagos State government, and thereby urged the court to dismiss the case. The Court of Appeal is yet to give date for hearing of the appeal.