Falana declares bill on tenure elongation for council bosses illegal

By Abdulwahab Abdulah

LAGOS—LAGOS lawyer and activist, Mr. Femi Falana, has declared the Local Government Amendment Bill 2013, seeking to elongate the tenure of the current chairmen and councilors from three to six years in Lagos State, being debated by the State House Assembly, illegal.

Falana, in a statement, advised the government to withdraw the bill, failing which he would be forced to challenge it in the court if passed.

He said: “We urge members of Lagos State House of Assembly to jettison the proposed elongation of the tenure of chairmen and councilors of local government councils in Lagos State forthwith.

“However, if the dangerous Bill is passed by the House and signed to law by Governor Fashola, we shall not hesitate to challenge its legal validity in court without any further notice.”

According to Falana, the bill was illegal since the people of the state were preparing to participate in fresh local government election in October 2013, since the chairmen and councilors were elected in October 2010 for a fixed period of three years.

He said: “Therefore, an amendment of the Lagos State Local Government Law, 2001, under which they were elected cannot extend their tenure from three to six years under any disguise.

“Since the proposed amendment takes effect if and when it is passed into law, it cannot retrospectively extinguish vested rights and obligations of the outgoing chairmen and councilors.

“In other words, the proposed amendment to the Lagos State Local Government Law cannot take a retrospective effect and thereby elongate the tenure of the chairmen and councilors from three to six years.”

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