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At Last, Sokoto Govt Presents Bill That Strips Sultanate Council of Certain Powers

At Last, Sokoto Govt Presents Bill That Strips Sultanate Council of Certain Powers

Despite outcry, the Sokoto State Government, yesterday, at a public hearing, presented a bill to the state House of Assembly to amend a section of the state laws, striping the Sultanate Council of its power to appoint village and district heads in the state.

Addressing the hearing at the mini chamber of the assembly, Commissioner for Justice, Nasir Muhammad Binji, explained that the former law, which was presented to the assembly for amendment was inconsistent with Nigeria’s constitution.

He noted that in the Nigerian constitution, the power only lay with the three arms of government – the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary – not institution, stressing that the power to appoint was solely vested in the executive arms of government.

He further clarified that the Sultanate Council still retained the power to recommend the village and district heads for appointment in subject to governor’s approval.

Binji explained that the proposed amended law was non political nor a means to strip Sultanate Council of its power.

Other sections of the law to be amended, according to Binji, were sections to extend the tenure of elected local government chairmen from two years to three years.

Also, in section 76 subsection h of the law, the commissioner said the phrase the governor has ‘absolute’ power to appoint the caretaker committee chairmen of the local government.

He explained that absolute would be removed from the clause as the word is ambiguous.

In his contribution, the Commissioner for Local Government and Religious Affairs, Ibrahim Dadi Adare, said the amendment of the law was a good step in a right direction.

Chairperson of the coalition of civil society organizations (CSOs), Bello Gwadabawa, also said if the amendment was for the purpose of good governance, the organisation was in support of it.

However, the representative of Sultanate Council at the hearing and the district of Kilgore, Dr Muhammad Jabbi Kilgore, said before now, the council had always consult the government before appointing or taking any decision concerning any village or district head it.

In it submission, Sokoto DNA a non governmental organisation, said it was against the amendment of section 75 and 76 which strip Sultanate Council power of appointing village or district heads.

Leader of the group and former member house of representatives representing Dange/Shuni/Tureta and Bodinga federal constituency, Dr Balarabe Kakale,explained that the amendment would whittle down the power Sultanate Council.

THISDAY gathered that if the law was amended, the salary of the traditional rulers in the state would be paid by the ministry of local government and religious affairs instead of Sultanate Council. @ThisDay 

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