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Politics

FCT Minister stops Area Council Chairmen, Councillors’ inauguration

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Bello, has suspended the planned inauguration of the Six Area Council Chairmen and Councillors scheduled for Friday.

The decision of the Minister to stop the inauguration of the elected representatives was contained in a statement on Thursday.

This, according to Bello, was due to the communication of a judgment by a court in the Federal Capital Territory directing the suspension of the inauguration.

The current chairmen’s tenure will end on Thursday.

In the statement personally signed by him, Bello said: “As you are all aware, in March of 2019, we held the Area Council elections in the FCT, whereby six Council Chairmen and their Councillors were elected after a very competitive and rigorous process.”

The Minister explained that the judgment was based on the recently signed Electoral Act of 2022, which stipulates that the tenure of office of the Chairmen of the Area Councils in FCT would now be four years instead of three years.

He said: “The existing Chairmen whose tenures were meant to expire or end today, have another one year to continue, based on the new law.

“So, as a law-abiding government, the FCT Administration has no option than to suspend the planned inauguration of the Six Area Council Chairmen of the FCT who were duly elected some weeks ago as a result of this injunction of the court.

“Also, as an administration that is very conscious of the need to abide by the rule of law, even though we are not satisfied with the judgment of the court, we have no option but to comply.”

Bello said while complying with the judgment, the FCTA was also making efforts to vacate the judgment, saying: “If need arises, to appeal the judgment, so that the correct position of the law will be determined by the legal processes.

“In the interim therefore, we are very conscious of the fact that the stand of the court has raised a lot of concerns within certain sections of the Federal Capital Territory residents.

“I wish to appeal to everyone to be calm, to be law abiding and to await the outcome of the legal processes.

“FCT is a creation of law.”

The Minister said that the FCT has always been known to be a place of unity, peace, good governance and populated by law abiding residents.

He said: “Please let us continue the way we are and await the court processes.

“At the end of the court processes, the clear direction of what needs to be done would be clearly stated and then as an administration, we will do the needful.”

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