Plateau LG chairman drags PLASIEC to Court, seeks order stopping polls

 Mr Ubandoma Joshua-Laven, (PDP) Chairman Langtang North Local Government Area of Plateau has dragged the State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) to Court.

Joshua-Laven is seeking an order stopping PLASEIC from conducting the Local Government elections in his domain.

Joined in the suit filed through his Counsel, Mr Niri Darong, are the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Governor Simon Lalong and Attorney General of the State as 2nd, 3 and 4th defendants.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that PLASIEC fixed the council for October including Langtang North LGA.

Joshua-Laven, motion on notice filed before Ishaku Kunda of State High Court 5, said that his action was pursuant to order 42 and 43 of the Plateau State High Court (civil procedure) rule 2020, section 7 of Construction of the Federal Government 1999 “(as amended).

Joshua-Laven explained that Plateau State Local Government Council Election Appeal Tribunal declared him duly Chairman of Langtang North Local Government Council by court of July 19, 2019.

He said that PLASIEC then issued him with a Certificate of Return on Oct. 17, 2019 while Gov. Lalong administered the Oath of Allegiance and Oath of Office on him on Oct. 9, 2019.

He said his tenure as Chairman of Langtang North Local Government Council under section 38 of the Plateau Local Government Council Law, 2016, is for three years, effective from the date he took the Oath of Allegiance and Oath of Office.

He said that the Respondents  fixed Oct. 9, as the date for the conduct of election into the Office of Chairman of Langtang North Local Government Council, among others.

If not restrained, he said, the Respondents will truncate the statutory three-year tenure of the Applicant,” Joshua-Laven argued.

Consequently, Joshua-Laven the only PDP LG Chairman, is seeking for an order for interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants by themselves, their agents, representatives or privies from doing anything or taking steps toward conducting elections into the office of Chairman of Langtang North Local Government Council.

He also seeks for an order of the Court for mandatory injunction restraining the defendants, their agents or privies from doing anything or taking any step prejudicial to his Office pending the determination of the substantive suit.

When the case came up for mention before Kunda, all the defendants and their Counsel were absent having not been served with the hearing notices.

“My Lord, it is unfortunate that none of the defendants’ Counsel is in Court today even though we have served them with our motion on notice,” Darong told the Court.

“However the clerk of the Court just informed us that the first respondent has filed a counter affidavit in reply to our motion but that copies were provided for service on us today,” he explained.

The Judge expressed shock on the flaunting of his earlier order that hearing notices be attached to the motion on notice served on the respondents.

Darong then noted that considering the circumstance, the case could not go on and he quickly applied for an adjournment to the court serve them (defendants) with hearing notices.”

“If that is the case we are asking for a date to the clerk to do the needful and to the respondents to also serve us with their counter affidavits,” Darong pleaded.

Kunda, however, directed the court clerk to effect service of hearing notices on the respondents and adjourned the case until Aug. 6 for hearing of the motion on notice. (NAN)