By Ani Michael
The immediate past Executive Chairman of Eket Local Government Area, chief Aniekan Akpan has dragged the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Deacon Udom Emmanuel and Attorney General of the state, Barr. Uwemedimo Nwoko to court for contravening and non-compliance with relevant sections of the State Joint Local Government Account (SJLGA) signed into law by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly since 2009.
Chief Akpan, a chieftain of All Progressives Congress, in suit no HEK/72/2019 filed by his lead counsel, Barr.Peter Ime Akpan on November 5, 2019, prayed the court among other reliefs to determine whether Eket, his local government area of origin is entitled to projects appropriated within 15% of the 13% derivation revenue standing to the credit of Akwa Ibom State from 2009 till date.
He further sought the court’s declaration that the defendants, Gov. Udom Emmanuel and Barr. Uwemedimo Nwoko contravened the provisions of the State Joint Local Government Account Law 2009 having not complied with section 3(a)&(c) of the law.
Chief Aniekan Akpan urged the court to order the defendants to comply forthwith with the State Joint Local Government Account Law 2009 and also seek court perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further contravening the provisions of the State Joint Local Government Account Law 2009.
Arguing further, Chief Akpan opined that “the provisions of Section 3(a)&(c) of the State Joint Local Government Account Law 2009 of Akwa Ibom State is clear and unambiguous to the effect that the minimum 15% of the derivation revenue standing to the credit of Akwa Ibom State from Federation Account pursuant to subsection (2) of section 162 of 1999 constitution must be appropriated for projects in Local Governments from where natural resources are derived.While the balance must be utilized by the 1st Defendant for the development of all Local Government Areas, including the local government areas from where natural resources are derived in compliance with the provision of Section 3(a)&(c) of the State Joint Local Government Account Law 2009.”
In backing up his legal argument, he said that Section 3(a) of the law as passed by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly says that “a minimum of 13% shall be appropriated for projects In the local government areas were natural resources are derived”.And Section(b) says 5% shall be retained by the state government as intervention funds for ecological land disaster problem in the state and for the development of Uyo Capital City, and that Section(c) says the balance shall be utilized by the state government for the development of all local government areas where natural resources are derived.”
Chief Akpan, attached mountain of exhibits and copies of Federal Allocations to Akwa Ibom State from January 2015 to August 2019.
In one of his exhibits marked Exhibit ANIEKAN C, Chief Akpan averred that the sum of 71,997,506,634,22 (Seventy One Billion,Nine Hundred Ninety Seven Thousand Five Hundred and Sixty Thousand Six Hundred and Thirty Four Naira Twenty Two Kobo) is the minimum of 15% of 13% derivation fund accrued to Akwa Ibom State but that there are no projects in Eket LGA to show being one of the local government areas endowed with natural resources.
In an interview with newsmen, Chief Aniekan Akpan said ” the case before the court is not about me but Eket local government area. The money meant for the development of the local government must come to the area and same used for the development of the local government.The case has no political undertone but purely constitutional matter which I believe the court in her wisdom shall serve justice.”
The case comes up on Tuesday January 14, 2020 at High Court No.II along Barracks Road, Eket by 9:00am.