Rivers: Group Raises Alarm Over Plots By Justice Omotosho to Illegally Extend Tenure of LG Chairmen

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A group of concerned citizens has raised alarm over alleged plots by Justice Kolawole Omotosho to illegally extend the tenure of Rivers Local Government Chairmen.

The Guardians of Democracy (GuD) made this known in a press statement on Tuesday wherein it also claimed that the LG Chairmen are plotting to get an injunction from Justice Omotosho.

Recall that a court judgement had nullified the Local Government Amendment law which the Rivers Assembly had vetoed the Governor to enact and gave themselves powers to extend the tenures of the chairmen if the governor failed to conduct council elections.

With their tenure set to expire next month, the Guardians of Democracy said that some chairmen have approached the Federal High Court Abuja to secretly obtain an injunction to allow them to continue in office.

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According to a statement signed by its coordinator, Dr. Abbey Adamu, the group further said that the chairmen intend to approach Justice Omotosho because they see him as an ally who will grant any injunction they desire or will get an associate to do the same.

Adamu said attempts to extend the tenure of the chairmen without following due process will not only subvert the democratic process but lead to political instability and unrest in Rivers.

It, therefore, called on the National Judicial Council (NJC) to investigate this matter and take necessary sanctions if Justice Omotosho is found to be compromised, adding that the judiciary must not be seen as a tool for political manipulation or personal gain.

“Tragically for governance, these outgoing local government chairmen are seeking to perpetuate their stay in office in Rivers State in a clear attempt to continue their looting of the public treasury. This has left us wondering where else in the world anyone has ever stayed a day beyond his or her tenure in office.

“Our concerns are further deepened by the realisation that Justice James Kolawole Omotosho has remained a recurrent factor in granting these frivolous injunctions as he either issued them himself or has been instrumental in brokering deals with his colleagues and associates.

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“We have received credible information that Justice Omotosho is top of the list of judges that these individuals intend to approach because they see him as an ally, who will grant any injunction they desire or will get an associate to do the same, regardless of the time of the day.

“We urge the NJC to act swiftly to disown these agents of discord before they tarnish the judiciary’s reputation. The integrity of our judiciary and the future of our democracy depend on the actions of individuals like Justice Omotosho and those who have aligned with his disagreeable hobnobbing with politics.

“GuD consequently warns that Nigerians will not stand idle while the sanctity of our judiciary is compromised to the detriment of the future of our democracy. Should the judiciary continue to allow its officers to dish out frivolous rulings we are prepared to mobilise non-stop protests against any judge or judicial officer who indulges in such practices, including occupying the erring courts and the NJC premises.

“We shall also use our protests to draw the attention of supranational bodies and the international community to the observed anomaly to work out sanctions for anyone found culpable.“

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