Ahead of the forthcoming local government election in Lagos State, a group, United Foundation for Survival and Sustainability, has cautioned the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC), against conducting the poll in 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).
It said the exercise should only take place in 20 Local Government Area (LGAs) across the state.
A statement issued by the Chairman of the group, Mr. Ahmed Adekunle, said going ahead to do so would be tantamount to violation of the provisions of Section 3(6). 7 and the first schedule Part 1 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
According to Adekunle in the statement, “LASIEC has issued a Notice of Election and Time Table for Election for in the 20 Local Government and 37 Local Council Development Areas in the State on July 24, 2021.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we like to state categorically that LASIEC only has right to conduct election into the constitutionally designated 20 Local Government Councils—not the 37 Local Council Development Areas as allowed by law!
“Going ahead to do so would be tantamount to violation of the provisions of Section 3(6) 7 and the first schedule Part 1 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Amended. The move will also be interpreted as disobedience to the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“It is important we emphasise that LASIEC must listen to the voice of rationality and desist from this obviously tele-guided agenda and save the country needless distress.
“Instead of helping to seek ways of defeating the security challenges facing Nigeria, it is disheartening that some elements are struggling to perpetuate their hold on the reins of governance in the state by trying to enforce this illegality.
“The Local Government Areas (Amendment) Law of Lagos 2004 made it crystal clear in Section 1, which explicitly admits that until the National Assembly passes an act to make consequential provisions with respect to the names of the said additional Local Government Areas as provided for under Section 8(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, they shall remain ‘Inchoate and Inoperative!’
The group noted that “This means that the said 37 local Government Council Areas are recognised only as ‘partly in existence’
“This is why LASIEC, to quote the law, has no constitutional authority and statutory competence to conduct election into the 37 additionally created Local Councils that has question mark.
“Even the Supreme Court of Nigeria has reinforced this view while throwing more light on the matter in the case between Attorney General of Lagos State and Attorney General of the Federation SC70/2004 as follows: ‘The new Local Government Areas can’t take effect until the National Assembly passes the consequential Act under section 8, subsection (5) of the Constitution, to give life to those creations’.”
From this ruling, Adekunle alleged that only the 20 LGAs in the state can enjoy being headed by democratically elected personalities.
“Should LASIEC stick to its guns and go ahead to conduct elections as stated in its time table, that would amount to administrative arrogance and rascality which is not needed at this time the country is facing some security challenges,” he said.