Enugu APC sues Ugwuanyi over deferred council polls
THE Enugu State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday announced that it has dragged Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to court over his intention to set up caretaker committees for the 17 councils in the state.
However, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) fired back, insisting that the APC, the party in power at the centre, lacked the moral ground to speak on matters concerning local government elections.
The APC had described the plan as unacceptable, prompting it to file a suit at the Enugu State High Court. The party said it had already secured an Order of the Court to serve the Originating
Summons and the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction “to restrain the governor and his partners from appointing any such caretaker committee pending the hearing and determination of the case.”
The case, with the suit number E/362/2015, is pending before Hon. Justice R O Odugu of High Court 6, Enugu.
Meanwhile, according to a statement made available by the Publicity Secretary of the APC in the State, Mrs. Kate Ofor, the party headed for the court “to forestall the tendency of misapplication of local government council funds under the lame excuse of (having) no money to conduct local government council election”.
She said it must “be known that the All Progressives Congress (APC) Enugu State Chapter, is vehemently opposed to the setting up of Caretaker Committees to run the Enugu State local government councils, as canvassed by His Excellency, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Governor of Enugu State.
“We say capital no to the setting up of Caretaker Committees to run local government councils in Enugu State on the grounds that it is unconstitutional, ultra vires and goes against the grain of timeless best tenets of democracy.
“While we were busy preparing for local government council election and calling for the sack of the corrupt and inefficient Dr Bony En-led Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC), news filtered in that His Excellency will impose cronies and party goons as councillors and chairmen to govern our local government councils.
“We are, therefore, at a loss why a governor duly elected to protect and defend the Constitution should arrogantly and less than transparently breach the Constitution, especially when his predecessors conducted local government council elections backed by law.”
In a swift reaction, the Enugu PDP lampooned the APC over what it called the party’s “mischievous comment against the plan by the State Government to constitute Caretaker Committees to run the affairs of the 17 local government councils.”
The PDP said the APC lacked the moral grounds to speak on the matter in the sense that most states controlled by the APC administer council affairs through caretaker committees.
The party maintained that there was nothing constitutionally wrong with the setting up of the committees under the present circumstance, which the state found itself.
In the statement signed by the State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Dr. Okey Eze, the party called on the APC to appreciate the new tempo of democratic experiment in Enugu State being championed by Ugwuanyi aimed at advancing good governance in an atmosphere of peace, civility, and rule of law.