A stalwart of ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and former presidential aide, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla has called for invocation of the doctrine of necessity as a way of averting the looming constitutional crisis in Cross River State.
In a statement issued in Calabar, he averred that constitutional crisis was looming large in the state as tenures of Local government council chairmen ends today, 1st June 2023, and there has been no arrangement to conduct local government council election.
He said the government elections should have been held in March 2023 but that it became impossible because the Governorship and State Assembly elections were also held in March 2023.
He said, “The tenure of the local government councils that were inaugurated on 1 June, 2020, has expired today.
“Section 63 (2) of the Local Government Law of Cross River State, 2018, provides that the date for the local government shall not be held any later than 90 days before the expiration of the date of the incumbent tenure.”
According to Obono-Obla, a lawyer, since Council polls have not been held at due time, a constitutional crisis is therefore looming large.
He wondered who was going to run affairs at that level of government since, according to Local Government Law of Cross River State 2018, there are no provisions for the constitution of a caretaker committee to hold the forte pending the conduct of an election.
“This is a proper circumstance for the invocation of the doctrine of necessity to provide for the setting of caretaker committees in local government councils in Cross River State because nature abhors a vacuum.
“Doctrine of necessity is the basis on which extraordinary actions by the administrative authority, which are designed to restore order or uphold fundamental constitutional principles, are considered to be lawful even if such action contravenes the established constitution, laws, norms, or conventions.
“Therefore in peculiar circumstances where there is no provision in the local government law envisaging the present situation in which local governments in Cross River State have found themselves, this is an appropriate case for the invocation of the doctrine of necessity.”