Reprieve came the way of the 148 Local Government Chairmen and councilors sacked in 2006 by the government of Abia State, then led by Orji Uzor Kalu, as the Supreme Court last Friday in a unanimous decision by a seven-man panel, faulted their sack describing it as official recklessness.
It would be recalled that Kalu’s administration had sacked the local government official before the expiration of the statutory three- year tenure they were elected. Kalu, who then reduced the tenure of the local government officials from three to two defended action,having amended the law through the State House of Assembly. This development forced the affected local government officials to seek redress in the law court.
The apex court of the land, declared in its ruling that no governor possesses the right to remove any democratically elected local government officials from office.
The government was ordered by the court to pay the affected officials their salaries and entitlement for the 23 months they were to stay in office. The court awarded N25,000 as cost against the appellant and dismissed the appeal.
Commenting on the development, Mazi Kalu Ogbonna, regretted the turn of event, stating that the action by the then administration was part of its disposition to recklessness and arbitrariness, adding that such culture of high-handedness is no more the trend in the current Abia State government.