The governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, on Sunday announced the sack and later reinstatement of all the 15 commissioners and 21 chairpersons of local government councils without the approval of the state House of Assembly.
A report by ThisDay predicted that the governor would dissolve his cabinet on Sunday as the “governor is no more comfortable with 90 per cent of his cabinet members, following the discovery of the importation of the Military uniforms and other Military prohibited goods by Senator Dino Melaye.”
The governor’s chief press secretary, Petra Onyegbule, on Sunday announced the dissolution of the cabinet and local government chairmen in a post on Facebook.
“BREAKING: Governor Yahaya Bello dissolved his cabinet. Commissioners have been directed to hand over all government property in their possessions to the SSG. Also dissolved are LGA Administrators. This step has been taken to rejig the system for better service to the people and the State. Details shortly,” she posted.
But shortly after her initial post announcing the sack of the commissioners, Mrs Onyegbule announced the restatement of the commissioners and local government administrators without undergoing screening by the state legislators.
“BREAKING: The governor announced a return to office for all commissioners and administrators; demands better performance and better relationship between the appointees and the masses,” her second post reads.
Section 192 of the constitution requires that a commissioner is only appointed after the approval of the state House of Assembly.
“Any appointment to the office of Commissioner of the Government of a State shall, if the nomination of any person to such office is confirmed by the House of Assembly of the State, be made by the Governor of that State and in making any such appointment the Governor shall conform with the provisions of section 14(4) of this Constitution,” the section reads.
An Abuja-based lawyer, Sule Abu, argued that, “if the second statement was a denial of the first statement, then it is a different issue. But to state clearly that you ‘reinstated’ a commissioner is a clear breach of the law.”