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“Sultan of Sokoto has no constitutional power to appoint district and village heads” – Sokoto Govt declares

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The Governor Ahmed Aliyu administration in Sokoto State says the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III has no constitutional power to appoint district and village heads in the North-West state.

The Sokoto State Attorney General, Muhammad Nasiru Binji, stated this at a public hearing at the State House of Assembly on Tuesday. The public hearing was on a bill for a law to further amend the Sokoto State Local Government and Chieftaincy Law 2008.

He said the law that gives the Sultan the power to appoint anyone contravenes the 1999 constitution.

The justice commissioner said the executive bill sent to the Assembly seeks to correct the inconsistency.

“Section 5(2) of the constitution stipulates that the executive power to appoint in the state is vested on the governor directly or through his deputy, commissioners, or any government agent assigned by the governor.

“So, there is no power given to the sultanate council to appoint,” he said.
“Section 76(2) of the Sokoto Local Government and Chieftaincy Law gives the sultanate council the power to appoint district and village heads in the state, but with the approval of the sitting governor.”

Binji said, “To give the Sultanate Council the power to make appointments is contrary to the provisions of this section. That is why it is now presented to this honourable House to amend this section to revert to the tradition and the age-long council where the Sultanate Council recommends to the governor persons to be appointed as district heads, persons to be appointed as village heads, and not the other way round.

“In the proposed amendment, the Sultanate Council, as in Section 76 (1) will retain the function to recommend to the governor while the power to appoint will now be with the governor.”

Meanwhile, the Sultanate Council has expressed readiness to work and support the state government as well as operate with laws made by the government for the Council.

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