Campaign for Constitutionalism and Human Rights, CCHR, has warned the chairman of Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC, Justice Ayotunde Phillips,(rtd), not to conduct local government election into any of the 37 Local Council Development Areas in the coming July 24 election.
CCHR in an open letter jointly signed by its executive secretary, Toyin Raheem and publicity secretary, Bamidele Oyewole said doing so will be in violation of the constitution.
Below is the full text of the letter
Campaign for Constitutionalism and Human Rights CCHR .
336, Abeokuta Express , Agege , Agege Local Government, Lagos State.
07080075038, 09091388625, 08065189147 , 08050459608.
Email : email@example.com .
4th June , 2021.
OPEN LETTER TO LAGOS STATE INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION LASIEC.
The Chairman ,
Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission LASIEC.
2 Birrel Avenue Yaba ,
Lagos Mainland Local Government ,
ATTENTION : Hon. Justice Ayotunde Phillips ( Rtd).
RESPECT RULE OF LAW AND CONSTITUTIONALISM.
DO NOT CONDUCT ELECTIONS IN LCDAs. IT WILL AMOUNT TO EXERCISE IN FUTILITY, FLAGRANT DISREGARD OF CONSTITUTIONLISM AND WASTAGE OF LAGOS STATE TAX PAYERS MONEY.
Campaign for Constitutionalism and Human Rights CCHR wishes to call your commission , Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission LASIEC to order on its plan to conduct the forth coming Local Government poll in 57 Local Government Council and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).
We have painstakingly gone through the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as altered and Electoral Act as amended if anything like LCDA is mentioned. To our dismay ,such phrase is alien to the Constitution.
We do know the chairman of the Commission is a respectable and Honourable high court judge before she retires and should be an authority in law . This on its own baffles us if the chairman does not know what the Constitution entails and it’s superiority over any law or act of any House of Assembly.
Section 1( 3) of 1999 CFRN states ; ” Any law that is contrary to the provision of the Constitution shall to that extent be null and void”..
Therefore the real and legal existence of the said LCDA is a figment of imagination of the promoters of such Illegality.
As a Honourable retired Judge ,the poll should only take place in 20 Local Government Areas recognised by the Constitution.
We trust the Chairman will not be part of promoters of aberration and will allow wise counsel , rule of law and Constitutionalism to prevail.
To conduct elections in 57 LGs/ LCDAs will be a flagrant violation of 1999 CFRN as altered. Section 3 subsections ( 6) and (7) and the first schedule Part 1 of the Constitution are very clear.
Therefore ,it will not only be an embarassment to the commission, it will also send a wrong signal to the populace that a learned Chairman that ought to be an expert in law is in support of the unconstitutional act of Lagos State Government.
May we stress , LASIEC exists based on legal framework and Constitutionalism. Why should LASiEC that would not have existed if not for the Constitution turns itself to an instrument of Illegality and unconstitutionality in the hands of some political merchants to oil their Political fiefdom ?
May we state unequivocally LASIEC can not conduct election in non existing LCDAs (legally ) and balkanised LGs and expect the election to stand.
We urge the commission not to be used by those that are bent on using Lagos State as their personal estate to satisfy urge for insatiable appetite for illicit wealth and power .
Lagos State belongs to the people and every Lagosian has the right to vote and be voted for. A situation that many Lagosians are technically disenfranchised by LASIEC is not acceptable.
This period that Lagosians expect Lagos State and those that wish to perpetuate themselves in power to be part of advocacy for Local Government Autonomy to make the LGs efficient , but they are against it to allow their business as usual to flourish.
May we clarify , Lagos State ‘s action and by extension LASIEC , is contrary to Lagos State law. What an absurdity !
A State that refuses or does not want to interprete it’s law correctly.
The Local Government Areas (Amendment) Law of Lagos 2004 in Section 1 confirms that until the National Assembly makes consequential provisions with respect to the said additional Local Government Areas as provided for under Section 8(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as altered, they shall remain inchoate and Inoperative.
The Supreme court in it’s judgement states in the case between Attorney General of Lagos State and Attorney General of the Federation SC70/2004 ; The Local Government Areas can’t take effect until the National Assembly passes the consequential Act under section 8, subsection (5) of the Constitution, to give life to those creations’.”
On what basis will LASIEC be conducting elections in 57 LGs/ LCDAs ?
Abuse of our statutory books and mockery of Democracy by the ruling Party in Lagos State , Lagos State Government and LASIEC must stop.
Any election conducted by LASIEC on 57 LCDAs/balkanised LGs will not stand. It will be nothing other than exercise in futility , promotion of Illegality , Wastage of Lagosians resources and deliberate dissipation of Lagosians’ energy on illegal elections. It will be a NULLITY.
It’s not too late for LASIEC to reverse itself and apologise to Lagosians for unnneccessarily raising their tension. Rule of law and Constitutionalism must be adhered to.
May we also call on LASIEC to refund any money collected under the guise of nomination fees from all unsuspecting candidates.
It’s illegal and unconstitutional for LASIEC and indeed all electoral umpires in Nigeria to collect nomination fees from candidates to contest for any elective position.
The Supreme Court has since decided on the matter in the case of NCP vs INEC instituted by the Greatest President Nigeria would have had after the demise of Vintage Awo , Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAM SAN.
Our demand for the immediate refund of every kobo collected by LASIEC as nomination fees is based on :
* It’s illegal and unconstitutional to collect nomination fees from Lagosians to run for elections.
* Secondly, LASIEC intention to conduct Local Government polls in 57 LGs/LCDAs does not conform with any law.
LASIEC is advised to rescind it’s decision to toe path of Illegality and allow wise counsel to prevail.
Should LASIEC go ahead with the election, all legitimate steps shall be taken against the administrative rascality and such illegitimate elections will not stand. No structure can stand on a faulty foundation.
Bamidele P. Oyewole.
For : Publicity Secretary .
Cc : Independent National Electoral Commission INEC
Minister for Justice and Attorney General of the Federation .
National Caretaker Chairman , All Progressives Congress APC
All Political Parties in Nigeria