The lawmaker representing AMAC/Bwari federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Micah Jiba and other Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has faulted moves by the outgoing Area Council Chairmen in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to extend their tenure in office by one year.
Jiba, who expressed opposition to the alleged tenure elongation plan at a press briefing in Abuja on Saturday, stressed that it was the incoming council chairmen that stand to benefit from the additional one year granted to FCT chairmen, saying Nigerian laws do not go backward, but forward.
The lawmaker explained that the 2010 Electoral Act was used to conduct the last FCT council elections and the certificates of return that were issued to the outgoing chairmen was for them to spend just three years in the office and not four years.
“So, the Electoral Act for the extension of an additional one year for the FCT Area Council is not for this outgoing administration, by the special grace of God.
“We need to understand that it is not for this particular administration and I want to say that the INEC as an independent body is well informed, assuming that they know that this outgoing administration will not benefit from this additional one year.
“I want to tell you that, they would not have conducted the last concluded elections of the Area Councils in the FCT. On the contrary, they conducted an election in the FCT, and certificates of return were issued to them,” he said.
Also in a related development, PDP stakeholders in the FCT warned against moves by the outgoing area council chairmen to extend their tenure in office.
Hon Emmanuel Inyang, who also spoke to journalists in Abuja, urged the council chairmen to tow the path of honour and not try to overextend their stay in office beyond May 20, 2022.
“First and foremost, I want to inform the media that there has been a development that is very ugly and it is important that we let the public know what is going on.
“Normally, the three years tenure of the present government is expected to end on May 20, 2022. We are expecting that on May 20, the new government that was elected recently would be sworn in,” he said.
He alleged that there were moves to extend the tenure of the outgoing FCT council chairmen through a court injunction.
“There is an ugly development, which is important and necessary for the media and the Nigerian public to be aware of.
“While we are all preparing for the next swearing-in of chairmen and other councillors elected, we discovered through jubilation that took place some few days back at AMAC on the issue that has to do with tenure elongation.
“We got to know that the present Vice-Chairman of AMAC, Hon. Lawrence filed a suit at the Federal High Court challenging and asking that based on the new Electoral Act, signed into law by the President, it extend the tenure of the Area council from three years to four years.
“It is worthy of note that the present Vice-Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council Hon. Lawrence is asking the court that pronouncement be made that their tenure should also be extended by one year to make it four years.
“Now, the question is on what oath of office were they sworn into? Which of the Electoral Act were they elected on? It is important for us to know that they were elected on the Electoral Act of 2010,” he stated.