Kaduna State Government has directed the suspended chairmen of Chikun and Giwa local governments to go back to their offices immediately, following a legal advice from the office of the state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice.
Secretary to the State Government, Malam Balarabe Abbas Lawal, in a letter, said the government subjected the legal advice to scrutiny before giving the directive.
The Kaduna State House of Assembly had suspended the chairmen of the two local governments on June 1, 2022, following a motion by the member representing Zaria/Kewaye constituency, Ahmed Chokali, accusing them of misappropriation of funds.
Chokali moved that Salasi Nuhu Musa and Abubakar Lawal, chairmen of Chikun and Giwa local governments respectively, should hand over to their deputies to allow for investigation.
He urged the House to investigate the matter in line with Section 128 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Angered by the development, the suspended chairmen approached the state government on the matter.
They wrote to the Attorney-General of the State, requesting the interpretation and legal advice on their suspension.
In her reply, the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice,Aisha Dikko, noted that the suspension of the two local government chairmen was ‘’a clear violation of both the extant provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(as amended) and the Local Government Law of Kaduna state.’’
She stated that the law stipulated that ‘’local government councils are an independent organ of government and also have their duly elected legislative councils.’’
According to her, the procedures for the removal of the chairman and vice-chairman of a local government council in the state have been spelt out by the Kaduna State Local Government Law 2018.’’
The Attorney General’s legal advice which was copied to the Secretary of the State Government, said that the action of the House of Assembly is ‘’unconstitutional, null and void and should be reversed accordingly and with immediate effect.’’
Based on the advice as contained in a letter dated June 14, 2022, with reference number SSG/KDS/276/VOL 1, the Secretary to the State Government wrote to the two chairmen, directing them to return to their offices.
According to the SSG, ‘’a copy of the letter will be communicated to the Clerk of the Assembly for information and guidance.’’