Drama As Industrial Court Orders 22 Sacked Rivers LGA Chairmen Reinstated

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A new twist has been added to the tussle of who occupies the 22 local government secretariats in Rivers state following a judgment by the National Industrial Court, sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state capital to reinstate the All Progressives Congress LG chairmen sacked by a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt in Rivers state.
 
The National Industrial Court ordered the reinstatement of the elected 22 local Government and ordered the Inspector General of Police to provide security for the chairmen to get back their position. The case was then adjourned till October 5, 2015.
 
It would be recalled that last Thursday, Justice Lambo Akanbi of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt sacked the 22 duly elected LG Chairmen and councillors.
 
It is not clear if the IGP who had barely 36 hours ago provided security for the 22 local Caretaker Committee Chairmen, CTC, appointed and inaugurated by Governor Nyesom Wike Chairmen to assume office on Saturday July 11, will do same for the reinstated chairmen.
 
The Federal High Court presided over by Justice Lambo Akanbi had on July 9, nullified the May 23 local government elections held in the state.
In his ruling in a case brought by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Justice Akanbi ruled that the poll conducted by the Augustine Ahiauzu-led Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission was illegal.
 
The Court further held that the election was conducted in disobedience of an injunction.
 
The PDP had boycotted the election citing court injunction, which ordered that the status quo be maintained.
 
The party of then governor, Rotimi Amaechi, the All Progressives Congress, won 22 of the 23 chairmanship seats in the elections.
 
The party also won 297 councillorship seats in the 302 wards while other political parties won the rest.
 
Justice Akanbi said conducting the elections despite a court order was a demonstration of executive lawlessness and impunity.
 
The PDP had in suit no. FHC/PH/CS/84/2015, prayed the court to declare the conduct of the elections illegal and of no effect.
 
But on Monday, Justice Agbadu-Fishim of the National Industrial Court, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, issued a counter ruling and ordered the reinstatement of the sacked 22 council chairmen.
 
He also directed the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, to enforce the ruling of the court.
 
Justice Agbadu-Fishim, however, advised all the parties in matter to appear before him on October 5, for hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
 
When contacted, the Special Adviser to the Rivers State governor on Media and Publicity, Ipunabo Inko-Taria, insisted that the ruling by Justice Agbadu-Fishim is spurious, malicious and calculated to cause crisis in the state.
 
“The story of the reinstatement of the local government chairmen sacked by the Hon. Justice Lambo akanbi by the Industrial Court in Yenegoa is spurious, malicious and a calculated act to stimulate crisis in the state,” Mr. Inko-Taria stated.
 
“There is no ounce of truth in the story. I urge Rivers people to dismiss the falsehood dispensed by some frustrated elements who are bent on provoking crises to make the state ungovernable. They have failed.
 
Section 7 (1) of the National Industrial Court Act, 2006, provides that the court shall have exclusive jurisdiction in civil cases and matters relating to labour, including trade unions and industrial relations. Other issues include environment and conditions of work, health, safety and welfare of labour; and matters incidental thereto.
 
Sources: PM News, Premium Times, SKYTREND NEWS
 

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