A case has been filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking a declaration that the administration of 21 local government areas in Anambra State by a transition committee since the past three years is illegal and unconstitutional. A summons to that effect has been served on the state government and Attorney General.
The originating summons, dated January 16, 2020, was filed by F.U. Obalim, Esq., on behalf of the plaintiffs, Incorporated Trustees of Matagu Foundation and Rachelle Gyoursmen Daniels. Listed as defendants are the Attorney General and Accountant General of the Federation, Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Clerk of the National Assembly, as first, second, third and fourth respondents respectively. Government of Anambra State and Attorney General of the state are listed as fifth and sixth defendants.
The first plaintiff, Matagu Foundation, is a human rights non-governmental organization that promotes respect for the rights of Nigerian and fights against all forms of corruption.
“The plaintiff brought this action for interpretation of section 3(6), 7(1) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and sections 108 and 156 of the Electoral Act 2011 vis-à-vis the power of the Government of Anambra State to work with non-democratically elected Local government Council and for the federal government to withhold allocation of funds to the local government for non-compliance with Section 7 of the Constitution,” the document states. The second plaintiff, Daniels, one of the foundation’s trustees, articulates: “There is no project by local government to justify various allocations given to them for the local Government as the allocations are unlawfully being misappropriated by the 5th and 6th Defendants.”
Consequently, they are seeking a declaration from the court to designate the release of allocation to the government of Anambra State as illegal and unconstitutional and amount to corrupt practices, and therefore, an order restraining flow of fund, finances benefits and disbursement from Abuja to the state until “such a time when the illegal extra-financial receipts by the government and the Attorney General of the state on behalf of democratically elected local government have been completely and fully debited from the statutory financial entitlements of the two defendants.”
Alternatively, they are also seeking an order of court mandating the conduct of a free and fair election and also an order of the court compelling both parties “to render in writing an account filed before the Court Registry all account of funds and benefits received while acting as self-sponsored.”