In a show of superior constitutional authority, Delta State House of Assembly, Thursday, reversed the suspension placed on the Acting Chairman of Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State, Mrs. Stella Otiotio Dabuner by councillors of the local government council.
In a letter signed by eight councillors and addressed to the governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, the councillors said the Acting Chairman was suspended following allegations of gross misconduct, describing their action as within the parameters of the powers of local government councillors.
But in a briefing at the State Assembly Chambers, Chairman of Adhoc Committee on Investigation of Local Government Affairs, Hon. Oboro Preyor, told journalists that the suspended Acting Chairman remains in office as the state legislature cannot compromise its authority over local government councillors.
Oboro, flanked by other members of the adhoc committee, said the “House of Assembly condemns in strong terms the actions of the councillors which is likely to cause breach of peace and order in the local government”, adding that “the House hereby orders that the status quo be maintained within 24 hours and show proof of compliance to the office of the Clerk of the House by Monday, the 24th day of August 2015 at 12 noon prompt”.
It described the councillors’ action as contravention of the decision reached by the House which suspended the substantive Chairman of the Local Government, Henry Baro, over insecurity and financial allegations against him.
Following its decision, the House called on members of the public, especially those resident in the embattled local government, to carry out their normal legitimate duties as they are assured of security of their lives and property.
But the councillors said the action of the State House of Assembly would no longer be tolerated by the people of the council area, saying the move of the Assembly to set aside the suspension placed on the Acting Chairman undermined the powers of the elected councillors.
The group said when the Assembly suspended the Executive Chairman, Henry Baro, the decision was respected, even though it was perceived as illegal, saying “we therefore wonder why the councillors’ decisions, an institution that is elected by the Uwvie people to make laws and act as checks on the executive arm of the council, will be treated with disdain”.
The group therefore called on the State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, to call the enemies of the council area and the State House of Assembly to order as they are committed to the peace and security agenda of the state government.