The High Court of Cross River State presided over by the state Chief Judge, Justice Okoi Itam, has granted a court order stopping Governor Ben Ayade from appointing Caretaker Committees to run the affairs of local government councils.
The court also restrained the 17 Heads of Local Government Administration (HOLGAs) from performing the functions meant for democratically-elected chairmen in the affected councils, except Bakassi where the elected council officials are still in office.
The court order was sequel to a motion ex-parte with suit number HC/17/2017 filed by the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and 15 others against Ayade, who recently directed that the elected chairmen whose tenure expired on December 15,2016 should handover to their HOLGAs.
After hearing arguments by the counsel to the claimants, Mr. Utum Eteng, on the interpretation of section 7 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, Justice Itam, granted the restraining orders.
At the end of the tenure of local government administrations, the governor had directed all chairmen of councils except Bakassi Local Government Area, to hand over to HOLGAs in their respective local governments.
The judge, however, adjourned hearing for one week.