Benue N1.27B LG Funds: Court Fix Date to Rule on Ex-LGSC Chair’s Application

By: James Gbudu

Justice Ahemba Ikpambese of a Makurdi High Court has fixed 27th June, 2016 for ruling in a matter of enforcement of fundamental Human Rights brought by erstwhile Chairman of the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) in Benue State, Comrade Richard Gbande and two others.
The three were indicted by the Justice Kpojime Commission of Inquiry earlier this year for alleged involvement in the misappropriation of over 1.27 Billion Naira local government training funds.
Now, they have approached the court seeking among other reliefs, an order of certiorari by way of judicial review to quash from the records of the court proceedings, findings and recommendations of the commission because they were not given fair hearing.
Their application, according to Simon Orkumah who appeared for the applicants is brought pursuant to Section 46 (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Order 2 Rules 10 and 11 of the Fundamental Human Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009.
According to Orkumah, misappropriation is a criminal offence and only a competent court of law has the jurisdiction to try offenders and not a commission.
He told reporters that his clients were only witness of the commission only for the commission to turn round and fling charges on them saying, it is a violation of their rights.
However, counsel to the respondents, Professor Anthony Ijohor (SAN) has raised a preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the application because it is incompetent.
He argued that the order of certiorari sought by the appellant makes the application for enforcement of human rights incompetent.
The respondents’ counsel refer the court to the case of John Tyokegh versus Governor of Benue State and three others delivered by His Lordship Justice Adam Onum on 19th May, 2016 where in the court held that the relief for an order of certiorari cannot be invoked under fundamental human rights enforcement rules.
Ijohor therefore, urged the court to abide by the decision and dismiss the applicants’ application for being incompetent.
Having heard all the parties, Justice Ikpambese adjourned the matter for 27th June, 2016 for ruling.
Benue N1.27B LG Funds: Court Fix Date to Rule on Ex-LGSC Chair’s Application Benue N1.27B LG Funds: Court Fix Date to Rule on Ex-LGSC Chair’s Application Reviewed by Link Naija on May 24, 2016 Rating: 5

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