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Ozigbo charges Soludo to conduct proper local government elections

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Ozigbo charges Soludo to conduct proper local government elections

Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, the frontline Labour Party governorship aspirant in the 2025 Anambra State governorship election, has charged the state governor, Prof Charles Soludo to conduct a proper local government election and save the people from suffering.

Ozigbo who made the call while reacting to a recent order of an Abuja court restraining the Accountant General of the Federation and the Federal Minister of Finance from further remitting funds due to the 21 Local Government Areas of the State to the Soludo-led State Government, noted that the corruption-laden use of appointed Caretaker Committees to manage the affairs of Local Governments has been consistently deemed illegal.

Writing on his X account, Ozigbo said, “Just yesterday, we received news about the FCT High Court’s order in Apo, restraining the Accountant General of the Federation and the Federal Minister of Finance from further remitting funds due to the 21 Local Government Areas of Anambra State to the Soludo-led State Government.

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“The Court ordered these funds to be deposited into an interest-bearing account managed by the Chief Registrar of the FCT High Court until the Court hears the substantive Motion on Notice.

“Furthermore, the Court directed the anti-graft commission, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to invite and interrogate the relevant officers of the Anambra State Government regarding the deployment of funds received between March 22, 2022, and April 30, 2024.

“The EFCC is expected to file an Affidavit of Compliance, including the Investigation Report, within 30 days.

“While this news is not entirely cheerful, given that it involves funds due to the local government areas of Anambra, it is a welcome development. The corruption-laden use of appointed Caretaker Committees to manage the affairs of Local Governments has been consistently deemed illegal.

“It is unfortunate that Anambra’s Governor Chukwuma Soludo has continued this practice since his inauguration on March 17, 2022, despite promises to the contrary.

“The court documents highlight that N7,323,679,402.23 was allocated to the Anambra State Government in March 2024 for the benefit of the 21 LGAs. Over the past two years, approximately N175 billion may have accrued to these LGAs. Now, imagine the impact this substantial sum could have had on schools, healthcare institutions, markets, and the lives of the people in LGAs like Ayamelum, Ogbaru, Idemili South, and Ekwusigo, which have felt little to no government presence.

“Consider that this approximated N175 billion is not part of the State Government’s allocation or the internally generated revenue in Anambra.

“Given the heightened insecurity that has plagued Anambra since this administration took office, continuing to remit these substantial funds without elected Local Government Councils is counterproductive.

“I applaud Chukwuebuka Mmeni Esq., the applicant who sought this order from the FCT High Court, for taking this step to expose the Anambra State Government’s malfeasance.

“I also urge the Anambra State Government to avoid wasting resources on legal fees to overturn this order. The order clearly serves the interests of Ndi Anambra. The illegality of the Caretaker Committees cannot be overstated, and no sophistry-cloaked legal argument can defend the indefensible.

“Our state would benefit more if the State Government redirected funds towards conducting genuine Local Government Elections. Should the Governor persist in contesting the order without conducting these elections, I advise my party, the Labour Party, to join the suit to ensure that the right thing is done.”

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