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Anambra: Ngige, Peter Obi, Obiano, Soludo in trouble over LGs FAAC Allocations

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Ex-Anambra State governors, Christopher Ngige, Peter Obi, Williams Maduabuchukwu Obiano and the incumbent, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo

Former governors of Anambra State, including Chief Dr. Christopher Ngige, Mr. Peter Gregory Obi, Chief Dr. Williams Maduabuchukwu Obiano and the current governor, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, are seemingly in neck-deep trouble.

The issue revolves around the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) funds to the 21 Local Government Councils in the state since 2003, beginning with the administration of Chief Ngige.

Trouble started with a suit filed in the Federal High Court of Anambra State of Nigeria, Awka Judicial Division, holden at Awka.

The suit, filed on April 17, 2024, with case no. FHC/AWK/CS/90/2024, was initiated by Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Okonkwo, the Plaintiff.

It has the following 8 individuals and offices as Defendants:

  1. The Federal Republic of Nigeria
  2. Governor of Anambra State
  3. The Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice Anambra State
  4. The Anambra State House of Assembly
  5. Former Governor Chief Dr. Christopher Ngige (for himself and on behalf of – the Local Government Transition Chairmen and Councilors (Committees),
  6. Former Governor Mr. Peter Obi (for himself, and on behalf of – the Local Government Transition Chairmen and Councilors (Committees),
  7. Former Governor Chief Dr. Williams Maduabuchukwu Obiano (for himself, and on behalf of – the Local Government Transition Chairmen and Councilors (Committees),
  8. Mr. Livinus Onyenwe (for himself and on behalf of the Local Government Transition Chairmen and Councillor’s (Committees) serving under Professor Soludo, the current governor of Anambra State.

The Plaintiff, Dr. Okonkwo, argued that the Transition Chairmen and Councillors were unconstitutionally appointed and, thus, served under illegal regimes for the period covering 2006 to 2024.

What does Okonkwo want from Anambra governors?

Dr. Okonkwo, in the suit, sought the following reliefs against Ngige, Peter Obi, Obiano and Soludo:

1) A DECLARATION that the Plaintiff is entitled by the favourable judgment in Suit No. FHC/EN/CS/90/2005 delivered on 26m September, 2006, (the declaratory judgment) to use same as a foundation for consequential reliefs against some of the earlier parties or their agents and privies.

2) AN ORDER directing the 1st Defendant (the Federal Republic of Nigeria) to furnish to the Plaintiff – “the Financial disbursement by the Federal Ministry of Finance, the monthly allocations in favour of the 21 Local Government Council Areas in Anambra State with effect from May 29th, 2003, up to March 2024.”

3) AN ORDER directing the 2nd to the 8th groups of Defendants to render public account before this Court of all funds illegally expended by them or agents and privies, during their respective regimes of office while executing their illegal and unconstitutional usurpation of offices at the Local Government Council Areas in Anambra State by tampering with public funds, excluding salaries and allowances of the Local Government Council employees and workers’ expenditures.

4) AN ORDER directing that the Defendants namely: Governor of Anambra State (2nd Defendant), Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Anambra State (3rd Defendant), Anambra State House of Assembly (4th Defendant) having collectively failed and neglected to provide for the establishment, structure, composition, finance, and electoral laws, to ensure that the Plaintiff and every person who is entitled to vote or be voted for at an election to a House of Assembly, shall have the right to vote or be voted for at an election to a Local Government Council, breached the mandatory duty cast upon them in Sub-section (4) of Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and flagrantly violated the subsisting judgment in EXHIBIT ‘A’, therefore, consequently are not fit and proper persons to seek or present themselves for elections (for nomination for any elective office) and or re-election under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

5) AN ORDER directing the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 3rd Defendants respectively to publish before this Honourable Court as follows:

(a) The 1st Defendant to place before the Honourable Court: the FAAC Allocations to the respective 21 Local Government Council Areas in Anambra State for the period: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024
(b) The 2nd, 3rd and 4th Defendants to place before the Honourable Court: the FAAC Allocations to the respective 21 Local Government Council Areas in Anambra State for the period: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024
(c) The 8th Defendant to place before the Honourable Court: the FAAC Allocations to the respective 21 Local Government Council Areas in Anambra State for the period: 2022, 2023 and 2024.

6) AN ORDER consequentially for the Defendants (except the 1st Defendant), for disobedience of the aforesaid judgment EXHIBIT ‘A’, BARRING the 5th to the 8th groups of Defendants named therein, from presenting themselves either for nomination or standing for election or occupying public offices in Nigeria for their unconstitutional, careless and contemptuous violation of the subsisting final judgment of the Federal High Court delivered on 26th September 2006 marked EXHIBIT ‘A’.

7) AN ORDER directing the 1st Defendant (the Federal Republic of Nigeria) to put into effect – the unanimously passed resolution of the Senate, asking the “Federal Government to halt the statutory allocation of funds to Local Government Area Councils, where Chairmen and Councilors were not democratically elected (particularly against the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Defendants).

8) AN ORDER nullifying/setting aside all the purported directives, financial expenditures; the presentment of “Igwe elects” by the Town Unions to Chairmen Transition/Caretaker Committee, and issuance of Certificate of Recognition of His Royal Highness (Traditional Ruler/Igwe) for Government recognition purportedly made by the illegal and unconstitutional constituted Caretaker/ Transition Committees for the 21 Local Governments in Anambra State with effect from the 26th day of September, 2006, by the 3rd to the 8th Defendants, having not been democratically elected.

9) AN ORDER for Exemplary Damages against the 5th to 8th Defendants in favour of the Plaintiff for One Hundred Billion Naira (N100,000,000,000.00).

Okonkwo also asked the court to determination whether the continued violation by the 2nd to 8th Defendants of EXHIBIT ‘A’ the judgment in Suit No. FHC/EN/CS/90/2005, between the parties delivered on 26th September, 2006 which execution had taken effect, is sustainable.

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What does the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria say?

In the affidavit in support of his originating summons, he cited Section 7(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as providing thus:

“The system of Local Government by elected Local Government Councils is under this Constitution guaranteed; and accordingly, the Government, of every State shall subject to Section 8 of this Constitution, ensure their existence under a law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.”

According to Okonkwo, based on the segment of this Constitution, there is a duty cast upon the Government of Anambra State to ensure that every person, including the Plaintiff, who is entitled to vote or be voted for at an election, to have the right to vote or be voted for at an election to a Local Government Council.

He pointed out that the last council poll was held in Anambra State in 1998 before the emergence of the Nigeria’s democratic dispensation in 1999 and that the tenure of the set of Local Government Chairmen and councilors ended in the year 2002.

He noted, however, that “since then, subsequent administrations of Ngige, Peter Obi, Obiano and Soludo in Anambra State having been illegally and unconstitutionally deploying Local Government Caretaker Committees to administer in the State”.

Okonkwo reasoned that the Defendants namely, Governors Ngige, Peter Obi, Obiano and Soludo, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Anambra State, the Anambra State House of Assembly breached the constitutional duty cast upon them in Section 7(4) of the 1999 Constitution.

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He, therefore, insisted that they never ensured that the Plaintiff and every person who is entitled to vote or be voted for at an election to a House of Assembly have the right to vote or be voted for, having refused or neglected to make the electoral laws and appoint/establish the structures for a Local Government Council election in the state.

Presently, the following individuals, appointed by Professor Soludo, took office on 17th day of March, 2022, and are “illegally, unlawfully and unconstitutional” occupying the chairmanship seats of the 21 LGs in the state:

1) Mr. Livinus Onyenwe – Anyamelum.
2) Prince Chibuike Ofobuike – Aguata.
3) Mr. Anselm Onuorah – Anambra East.
4) Mr. Felix Ikechi – Anambra West.
5) Mr. Gerald Ikechukwu Ozo – Anaocha.
6) Mr. Emmanuel Ucheze – Awka North.
7) Mr. ThankGod Aniago Awka South.
8) Mr. Augustine Onyemaobi Nonyelum – Dunukofia.
9) Mr. Jamas Chimezie Obi – Ekwusigo.
10) Chuks Brown Igboanna – Idemili North.
11) Mrs. Immaculate Obi – ldemili South.
12) Mr. Kingsley Obi – Ihiala
13) Mr. Cletus Aguiyi – Njikoka
14) Mr. Mbazulike Iloka-Nnewi North, replaced by Christian Eze Obiora.
15) lkenna Oluchukwu Anagbaoso – Nnewi South.
16) Charles Ozioma – Onitsha North.
17) Emeka Orji – Onitsha South.
18) Ogochukvu Ekwueme – Orumba North.
19) Sunday Uchendu – Orumba South.
20) Emmanuel Nweke – Oyi.
21) Pascal Chidiebere Aniegbuna – Ogbaru.

Further details of the matter

Further details of the matter as alleged by Dr. Okonkwo states as follows:

(a) The former Governor of Anambra State — Dr. (Chief) Chris Nwabueze Ngige, assumed office on 29th May, 2003 together with Dr. Okey tide as his Deputy Governor and later one Chief Ugochukwu Nwankwo (late) replaced Dr. Okey Udeh in office.

(b) Throughout the regime of Dr. (Chief) Chris Nwabueze Ngige, which terminated on or before 17th March, 2006, both the statutory, mandatory provision of Section 7(4) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the judgment of the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/EN/CS/90/2005 EXHIBIT ‘A’ were flagrantly violated.

(c) The former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, is sued in a representative capacity as the 6th Defendant for himself and on behalf of the 21 Local Government Transition Chairmen/ Councilors (Committees).

(d) Throughout the 8 years tenured regime wherein Mr. Peter Obi served as Governor of Anambra State with Dame Virgy Etiaba and Mr. Sibeudu as Deputy Governors (as they were changed) only one Local Government Council election was purportedly conducted at the twilight of the administration in November, 2014.

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For the rest of the life of the Peter Obi administration, the affairs of the 21 Local Government Councils in Anambra State was ran by Caretaker Committee, comprising unelected people.

(e) For more than 7 years in the life of former Governor Peter Obi’s regime which terminated on 10th March, 2014, both the statutory, mandatory provisions of Section 7(4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended); and the judgment of the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/EN/CS/90/2005 EXHIBIT ‘A’ were flagrantly violated.

(f) The former Governor of Anambra State Chief (Dr.) Willie Maduabuchukwu Obiano, is sued in a representative capacity as the 7th Defendant for himself and on behalf of the 21 Local Government Transition Chairmen/ Councilors (Committees) unconstitutionally appointed and served under his regime between the period 17th March, 2014 and 16th March, 2021, for a total of 8 years.

(g) Throughout the 8 years tenured regime wherein Chief (Dr.) Willie Maduabuchukwu Obiano, served as governor of Anambra State with Dr. Okey as Deputy Governor, the rest, in the life of the 21 Local Government Council in Anambra State was ran by Caretaker Committee, comprising unelected people.

(h) For more 8 years in the life of former Governor Chief (Dr.) Willie Maduabuchukwu Obiano’s regime which terminated on 16th March, 2021, both the statutory, mandatory provisions of Section 7(4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended); and the judgment of the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHCIEN/CS/90/2005 EXHIBIT ‘A’ were flagrantly violated.

(i) That for the three (3) years Governor Chris Nwabueze Ngige was in office, the election into the Local Government Council was never held, notwithstanding the fact that he put in place the Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC) headed by Chief Cornell Umeh, and Chief Umeh was unable to conduct the Local Government Council election.

(j) The tenure of ANSIEC headed by Chief Umeh ended in June, 2009.

(k) During the tenure of office of Governor Peter Obi, his administration was using civil servants as heads of the 21 Local Government Council Areas in Anambra State.

(I) Governor Peter Obi appointed Professor Titus Eze as the Chairman ANSIEC.

Notwithstanding the pendency of Plaintiffs Pre-Action Notice issued on 12th January 2024, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Defendants, on 2nd February 2024, the House Speaker, Dr. Somtochukwu Udeze read to the House Members a letter dated February 2nd, 2024, from the Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo, requesting for the screening and confirmation of the chairmen.

A date is yet to be assigned for the hearing of the case against Governors Ngige, Peter Obi, Obiano and Soludo.

Find attached a copy of the suit below:


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