LOCAL GOVT POLL: IKA HUMAN RIGHT ACTIVIST, FELIX MORKA, DRAGS DELTA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY TO COURT

An Harvard trained lawyer, human right activist and the Executive Director, Socio Economic Rights and Action, SERAC, a non Profit and non-governmental organization based in Lagos, Felix Morka, alongside with a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria, (ACN) in Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State, Mr. Edwin Okoh have dragged the Delta State House of Assembly to the High Court in Agbor for the delay in the conduct of the Local Government Election in the state. Mr. Felix Morka of Agbor Alidinma village and Edwin Okoh of Oza Nogogo, all in Ika South Local Government are praying the court to determine the following questions. First, whether the exercise of the powers of the Ika South Local Government Council (as envisaged by section 7 of the 1999 Constitution as amended) by the Head of Personnel of the said Local Government is not undemocratic, unconstitutional, null and void?

Second, whether or not section 7 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) did not impose a duty on the House of Assembly, Delta State to appoint a date for the conduct of the Local Government Elections on or before the expiry and dissolution of the tenure of the office of the past democratically elected Ika South Local Government Council?

Third, whether the continued functioning of the Ika South Local Government Council without a democratically elected Local Government Councils since 28th of April, 2011 up to the time of filing this action, a period of approximately one year, is not contrary to section 7 (1) of the 1999 constitution?

Fourth, whether the High Court of Delta State, sitting at Agbor, has the powers to compel the House of Assembly, Delta State to perform its constitutional and public duty by an order of Mandamus?

The claimants however by the summon seek the following orders: One, "A DECLARATION, that the exercise of the powers of the Ika South Local Government Council by the Head of Personnel (a Civil Servant and an unelected official) is undemocratic, unconstitutional, null and void.

Two, A DECLARATION that section 7 (1) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) imposes a duty on the House of Assembly, Delta State to appoint a date for the conduct of Local Government Elections on or before the expiration of the tenure of office of the past Ika South Local Government Council.

Three, A DECLARATION that the continued administration of Ika South Local Government Council without a democratically elected Local Government Council since 28th of April, 2011 up to the time of filling this action, a period of approximately one year, is contrary to section 7 (1) of the 1999 constitution (as amended)

Four, AN ORDER OF MANDAMUS compelling the House of Assembly, Delta State to immediately, and no later than 7 days after this judgment, appoint date for the conduct of Local Government Elections into Ika South Local Government Council and in all the other Local Government Areas of Delta State.

The claimants urged the court to grant all their prayers and claims (3 declarations and I mandamus) as already stipulated in this report.

It should be noted that the Delta State Government under the Leadership of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has since the dissolution of local government council in the state on April 28th, 2011 they say has refused to appoint caretaker committee members or better still conduct a local government election as stipulated in Nigerian constitution. This development however, has become a source of worry to every concerned Deltan as this is not supposed to happen in a truly democratic state.

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