The Ibaji Progressive Youth Foundation, a group in the Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State, has told the High Court of Justice in Lokoja that the council Chairman, Williams Iko-Ojo Obiora moved the Ibaji Liason Office to another council, Idah.
The group in an affidavit against the claim of the chairman said it was unfair of him to deny the people of Ibaji LGA their constitutional right by shifting the headquarters to Idah on the mere “reason of lack of accessible road while other councils in Nigeria located in river line areas like in River state still operate from their lawful designated headquarters despite difficulties in access.”
According to an oath taken on behalf of the group by Comrade Apeh Kelvin, the people of Ibaji LGA, are worried that their economy is being taken to another council; hence all business activities in Onyedega have collapsed.
“That no activities took place in St. Michael outside the launching that was organised by Ibaji Development Association (IDA) under the leadership of Late Samuel Omachonu then and the traditional council headed by Chief John Egwemi for the burnt secretariat and it was during that launching that late Chief Alhaji Tijani and Egwenu Abumah pledged their houses for a takeoff which Alhaji Tijani’s two storey building was selected for the secretariat take off and Hon. Fidelis Egwuche was the sole administrator then,” the affidavit read.
“That after the secretariat was burnt, the secretariat was shifted to the chairman’s residence that was built by Hon. Abraham Uchola Administration and not to Alhaji Tijani’s house as falsely claimed by the defendants and that the defendants’ assertion that Alhaji Tijani’s house is located at Ojuba road is false as the said house is located at Ogaine number 2 after Ogaine number 1 in Onyedega Local Government.
“That it was only the previous administration that used the NULGE HOUSE but since the administration of the 1st defendant, the 1st defendant has never stepped into NULGE HOUSE and the said NULGE HOUSE is in a dilapidating state currently, and all the administrative activities of the 2nd defendant is being carried out in the Liaison office at Idah by the 1st defendant.
“That said tractors mentioned in Exhibit 2 & 3 attached to the defendants’ counter affidavit, and even the Ambulance vehicle donated by SDGs for the use of the General Hospital and other properties of Ibaji Local Government are now kept in the liaison office at Idah. Pictures of the said NULGE HOUSE and CHAIRMAN QUARTERS showing physical absence of the defendants and the properties of the 2nd defendants therein is hereby attached and marked as exhibits.
“That past administrations have been carrying out the administration of the 2nd defendant in Onyedega despite the flood as the 2nd defendant has speed boats for the purpose of access to Onyedega during flood and aside from the flood in 2012, no other flood has occurred which is capable of blocking or preventing total access to Onyedega, more so, even Nigerian General election took place during the flood.
“That it is unfair to deny the people of Ibaji Local Government their constitutional right by shifting the headquarters to Idah on the mere reason of lack of accessible road while other local governments in Nigeria located in river line areas like in River state still operate from their lawful designated headquarters despite difficulties in access.
“That the people of Ibaji Local Government are worried that their Economy is being taken to another local government hence all business activities in Onyedega have collapsed; that all businesses of the Ibaji local government ought to be carried out in Onyedega, being the headquarters of the Ibaji Local Government.
“That the purpose of the creation of Ibaji Local government Area like other local governments in Nigeria is to ensure government at the grassroots but the people of Ibaji are being denied that by the current administration of the 1st defendant. That it will be just and equitable for this honourable court to entertain the claimant’s suit.
“That the claimant is entitled to the reliefs sought. That I make this affidavit in good faith, conscientiously believing same to be true and correct in accordance with the Oath Act.”