Court of Appeal Dismisses Appeals by Sacked Local Government Chairmen Loyal to Nyesom Wike

Background and Legal Context

In a significant legal development, the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt on Monday dismissed two appeals filed by sacked local government chairmen who were loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike. The appeals, marked CA/PH/137M/2024 and CA/PH/145M/2024, were instituted by Enyiada Cookey-Gam, the former Chairman of Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area (LGA), along with six others. These appellants challenged the High Court's decisions regarding the elongation of their tenure.

Court Ruling and Implications

Delivering its ruling, the Court of Appeal found that the appeals lacked merit and subsequently struck them out. This judgment reinforces the legal position that the tenure of the local government chairmen had indeed expired, and their continued stay in office was unlawful. The dismissal of these appeals underscores the judiciary's role in maintaining the rule of law and upholding judicial decisions.

This judgment comes weeks after Governor Siminalayi Fubara inaugurated Caretaker Committee Chairmen for the 23 LGAs at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital. This move by Governor Fubara marked a significant step in addressing the administrative vacuum created by the end of the tenure of the former council chairmen.

Appointment of Caretaker Committee Chairmen

On June 19, 2024, Governor Fubara swore in the new caretaker chairmen just hours after the House of Assembly, led by factional Speaker Victor Jumbo, screened and confirmed the nominees. The swift transition underscores the urgency with which the state government sought to fill the leadership vacuum in the local governments.

The process began when Governor Fubara forwarded the list of nominees to the state House of Assembly on a Tuesday. The nominees were then invited for screening as early as 8 am the following day, according to a statement issued by the Clerk of the House, G.M. Gillis-West. This expedited process highlights the state government's commitment to ensuring continuity in local governance.

Political Crisis and Legal Challenges

The nomination and subsequent inauguration of the caretaker chairmen occurred amid a renewed political crisis in the state. The former council chairmen, whose tenure had expired, refused to vacate their offices, leading to a standoff. This refusal to leave office not only created administrative challenges but also heightened political tensions within the state.

Governor Fubara, while addressing the newly appointed caretaker chairmen, emphasized the importance of promoting peace at all times. He advised them that they could work from anywhere for the time being, reflecting the volatile political environment and the potential for further unrest.

Statements from the Key Players

Enyiada Cookey-Gam and the six other appellants expressed their dissatisfaction with the High Court's decision to terminate their tenure. They argued that there were legal grounds for extending their stay in office and that the dismissal of their appeals represented a miscarriage of justice. However, the Court of Appeal's ruling has now definitively closed this chapter, affirming the expiration of their tenure and the legality of their removal.

Governor Fubara, on the other hand, maintained that the decision to appoint caretaker chairmen was in the best interest of the state. He reiterated his administration's commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring effective local governance. The governor also praised the House of Assembly for its prompt action in screening and confirming the caretaker nominees, which he described as a testament to their dedication to public service.

Reactions and Future Implications

The dismissal of the appeals has drawn mixed reactions from various stakeholders within the state. Supporters of Nyesom Wike have criticized the ruling, viewing it as a politically motivated decision aimed at undermining his influence. Conversely, supporters of Governor Fubara and other political actors have hailed the judgment as a victory for the rule of law and good governance.

Political analysts have noted that this development could have far-reaching implications for the political landscape of Rivers State. The removal of the former chairmen and the appointment of caretaker committees could potentially weaken Wike's political base, thereby altering the balance of power within the state.

Moreover, the ruling may serve as a precedent for similar cases in the future, reinforcing the principle that local government officials must adhere strictly to the stipulated tenure and vacate office upon its expiration.

Call for Unity and Forward Path

In his address to the new caretaker chairmen, Governor Fubara called for unity and cooperation among all political actors in the state. He urged the new appointees to focus on delivering quality public services and fostering an environment of peace and stability. The governor emphasized that the primary objective of the local government leadership should be the welfare of the people and the development of their respective LGAs.

Governor Fubara also appealed to the former chairmen and their supporters to accept the court's ruling in good faith and to work towards the common good of the state. He reiterated his administration's commitment to inclusive governance and assured all stakeholders that their interests would be duly considered.


The Court of Appeal's dismissal of the appeals filed by the sacked local government chairmen marks a significant moment in the political and legal history of Rivers State. It underscores the importance of adhering to the rule of law and respecting judicial decisions. As the new caretaker committees take on their roles, the focus will now shift to ensuring effective governance and addressing the pressing needs of the people. 

Governor Fubara's administration faces the challenge of navigating the complex political landscape while striving to maintain peace and stability. The coming months will be crucial in determining the effectiveness of the caretaker committees and the overall impact of these changes on the state's governance and development. #RiversState #TrendingNews #Bulleting1247 #wike #fubara

Post a Comment