By Tony Okechukwu
Enugu State High Court, on Thursday, fixed December 11, to hear a case, seeking an order compelling Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to conduct Local Government elections in the State within 30 days.
The case, with suit number E/915/2019, is filed by the African People Alliance (APA) party.
Also joined in the suit are the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC); Enugu State Attorney General; and Ugwuanyi.
Justice Ebere Egumgbe, told the parties in the case to fast track the matter by expressly submitting written applications and counter objections on the matter.
“The court is giving both parties time to expressly submit written applications and counter objections on the matter, as well as exchange such submissions with each other before the next sitting date”.
“By the adjourned date, which is December 11, the court will sit for hearing and augment on the case and after that give its judgment on the matter”, Egumgbe said.
Earlier, counsel to the APA, Mr. Daniel Ogbe, approached the court to compel the respondents to conduct Local Government elections in the State since the existing elected officials’ time in office expires on December 4.
Ogbe also sought the court to restrain Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi not to appoint a caretaker committee for council areas after the expiration of time of the present elected council officials.
He, however, raised objection in the court that the first, second and third respondents are using State Legal Officers as their representative counsel in the matter.
Responding, the lead counsel for the respondents, Mr. I.I. Eze, noted that since the law bothers on official functions of government officials and ENSIEC; its clients would respond accordingly and follow the matter to its logical end.
“However, we are raising an objection on the argument of the counsel to the plaintiff that State Legal Officers cannot represent the first, second and third respondents”.
“This matter bothers on their official functions and capacity in office and never on their individual lives or affairs”.
“So, the argument of my learned colleague against our right to represent these public officials and commission is null and void”, he added.