The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has suspended the planned inauguration of the six Area Council chairmen and councilors scheduled for Friday.
The minister said this was due to the judgment by a court in the Federal Capital Territory directing the administration to suspend the inauguration of the new chairmen, based on the fact that the current chairmen’s tenure would end today, 19th May 2022.
Bello, who made this known in a statement, stated that the administration was very conscious of the need to abide by the rule of law, even though it was not satisfied with the judgment of the court.
According to the judgment, the recently signed Electoral Act of 2022 stipulates that the tenure of office of the chairmen of the Area Councils in the FCT would now be four years instead of three years.
This means that the incumbent chairmen whose tenure was meant to expire or end today, have another one year to continue, based on the new law.
He said, “FCT is a creation of law. The FCT has always been known to be a place of unity, peace and good governance and populated by law-abiding residents. Please let us continue the way we are and await the court processes.
“At the end of the court process, the clear direction of what needs to be done would be stated and then as an administrator, we will do the needful.
“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 Federal Capital Territory who were duly elected some weeks ago as a result of this injunction of the court.
While complying, we are also making efforts to vacate the judgment and if the 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, be law-abiding and to await the outcome of the legal processes.
“As you are all aware, in March of 2019, we held the Area Council elections in the Federal Capital Territory, whereby six council chairmen and their councilors were elected after a very competitive and rigorous process.
“These six council chairmen of the FCT were then inaugurated on the 20th of May, 2019, under the 2010 Electoral Act. Based on that Act, the tenure of the chairmen would end today and the new chairmen, based on the elections held in February this year, would be sworn in on 20th May 2022.”