A State High Court sitting in Abak, Akwa Ibom State has ordered Governor Udom Emmanuel to dissolve what it calls “illegal transition committees” set up to administer the affairs of various Local Government Areas in Akwa Ibom State. The decision of the Court is a culmination of litigation by a group of lawyers led by Barrister Nsikak Akai, challenging the Powers of the Governor to appoint transition committees.
Speaking after the judgement in Abak, the lead plaintiff, Barrister Kemfon Neke told Hinteractive Nigeria that he feels vindicated by the judgement in view of the fact that sceptics were either mocking him of lacking locus-standi or believing of him to be politically motivated.
“For those who were concerned or nursed fears that Nsikak Akai, myself and all the other lawyers in Oasis chambers, Abak had compromised the case for monetary or other political interests… today is your answer.
Those guys that called to ask, “Kemfon… See how good you look? you’ve sold that your case against government”. Today is your answer.
Those persons who thought that we had given up because the case wasn’t trending on the social media…well, lol… today is still your answer.”
“This answer is in the well considered decision of Justice Ezekiel Enang of High Court, Abak delivered today, that it is unlawful and in fact, illegal for the governor to appoint caretaker committees. The court ordered the governor to dissolve the illegal transition with “immediate effect”. The court adopted our reasoning that any law or resolution purportedly made by the House of Assembly empowering the governor to appoint persons through undemocratic means to occupy local government offices is null and void for being inconsistent with the constitution.”
Speaking further, the Lagos based lawyer and alumni of University of Uyo, narrated how the case, instituted eight months ago, delayed because of how the Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General, Barrister Uwemedimo Nwoko had countless times challenged their right to preliminary hearing in the court, thereby praying the Court to strike out their case.
“Appointment of transition committee and lack of autonomy or democracy in the local governments is not an Akwa Ibom problem. It is not even a PDP problem. It is a national issue that pervades both PDP and APC states. Lagos only recently conducted council elections and lots of APC states like Kogi have forgotten how council elections look like” said Barrister Neke.
With the delivery of the judgement, Neke says that the era of Transition is officially over, now and in the future.
Responding to questions on how he feels about the judgment, the young lawyer who is still in his late twenties said:
“As young lawyers, we are proud to engineer the society in our own little ways. I know that it is the politicians that will ultimately benefit from this effort of ours, but I am glad that we can be bold about certain issues that touch on our collective existence.
I thank the judge, Hon. Justice Ezekiel Enang for keeping the faith that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man and the people.”