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Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has issued an interim order restraining the Rivers State Government from withholding financial allocations meant for the 42 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state.

The ruling, delivered by Justice James Omotosho, comes as a response to a suit filed by LGA Chairmen and nine others, seeking relief from alleged interference in their operations.


Justice Omotosho’s ruling also directs all parties involved to maintain the status quo until the court reaches a final determination on the matter.

Additionally, it prohibits the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Police Commissioner in Rivers, Director General of the State Security Service (SSS), and its Director from withdrawing security personnel assigned to the LG Chairmen pending the resolution of the case.

The court’s decision follows an ex-parte application presented by the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Mr. Aliyu Hussein, emphasizing the need to ensure the LG Chairmen can fulfill their duties without hindrance.

The plaintiffs argue that they were duly elected under the Rivers State Local Government Law and have the right to autonomy in governing their respective areas.

The plaintiffs allege that the Rivers State Government, along with the Attorney General and Commissioner for Finance, sought to withhold revenue accruing to the LGAs and attempted to withdraw security services provided to them.

They claim this interference is aimed at frustrating the implementation of newly amended local government laws.

Dr. Chidi LLoyd, Chairman of Emohua Local Government and one of the plaintiffs, asserted in an affidavit that the LG Chairmen are constitutionally recognized and deserve autonomy in their operations.

They argue that any attempt to undermine their authority would disrupt governance and service delivery at the local level.

In response, Justice Omotosho ordered all parties to maintain the status quo and refrain from taking actions that could undermine the pending motion for interlocutory injunction. The court scheduled a hearing for May 2, 2024, to further address the matter and provide an opportunity for all parties to present their arguments.

The plaintiffs in the case represent various LGAs across Rivers State, highlighting the widespread concern among local government officials regarding alleged government interference and the need to uphold the rule of law at the grassroots level.

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