The African Action Congress (AAC) in Cross River at the weekend dragged Governor Ben Ayade, Heads of Local Government Administration (HOLGA) in the 18 LGs of the state and others to court over federal allocation.
Recall that the AAC, through its Cross River state chairman, Agba Jalingo, had two weeks ago warned the governor against touching the local government funds, saying the party would seek legal means stop the mess.
The party chairman had also urged the governor to conduct local government elections to so as to put a stamp of legitimacy on leaders at the third tier of government, saying the state government had refused to conduct election since 2017 for unexplainable reasons.
Making real its threat, the AAC, through its counsel, Chief (Barr) Utum Eteng filed a motion exparte at the Vacation Court in Port Harcourt in suit number SHC/TH/C5/153/19.
It seeks, amongst other things, “to ensure that the federal allocation paid into the accounts of the 18 local government councils by the Federal Allocation Committee is not tempered with by the 1st defendant howsoever.”
The case is between AAC as plaintiff and Gov Ben Ayade, the Attorney General of Cross River state, the Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission (CROSIEC), the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission and the Heads of Local Government Administration (HOLGA) in the 18 LGAs, as defendants.
Other prayers included “An order of interim injunction restraining the 1st, 2nd, and 7th – 39th Defendants by themselves, their agents, servants, privies or any other person or persons however acting through or for them from negotiating and/or obtaining any loan facility onbehalf of the eighteen (18) local government councils of Cross River State, 6th – 38th Defendants until the motion on notice herein filed is heard.
“An order of interim injunction restraining the 7th – 39th Defendants by themselves, their servants, agents or privies from proceeding to obtain, to sign any loan agreement/document seeking to raise or to grant any 30 per cent interest loan facility on behalf of the eighteen local government council of Cross River state, thereby technically using the loan transaction to gain access to the funds allocated to the 18 local government council by the Revenue Allocation Committee pending the hearing of the motion on notice herein filed.
“An order of court compelling the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendant to arrange and conduct elections to usher democratically elected councils in the eighteen (18) local government councils pursuant to section 7(1) of the 1999 constitution as amended and section 2(1) CRS Local Govt. Law 2007 pending the motion on notice.
“An order compelling the 4th defendant to monitor, investigate and ensure that no loan facility by the 1st – 2nd defendants is forced to be taken by the 7th – 39th defendants on behalf of the 18 local government councils of Cross River state and to ensure that the federal allocation paid into the accounts of the 18 local government councils by the Federal Allocation Committee is not tempered with by the 1st, 7th – 39th defendants howsoever.”