The Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, on Monday said the state government was ready to appear in court with five Senior Advocates of Nigeria to challenge the planned suit by the Civil Society Organisations in the state.
The CSOs had on Sunday threatened to institute legal action against the state over executive order restricting political parties from using schools, markets, parks and other government facilities for campaigns and rallies, ahead of the 2023 elections in the state.
With the order, political parties are expected to pay a refundable fee of N5million to enable them make use of government facilities.
Umahi, at the floor of the Ebonyi State House of the Assembly during the presentation of the 2023 budget estimate, said he was ready to face the CSOs in court, adding that the laws of the land overrides the cries of the people
He maintained that the Commissioner for Education in the state will be made to know political parties wishing to use any school for campaigns or rallies, adding that boarding schools were not exempted.
He said, “You will not use the school if the children are in session, you will not use the school if it’s a boarding school. We have had cases of rape during such rallies. You will not use the school, if we don’t have the assurance that if you destroy anything there you will repair it.
“You will not use the school, if you don’t have the vision to clean up the school when you finish. They say they will take me to court, am a product of reformation of our democracy.
“If you still want to go to court, I will wait for you with five SANs. We are not afraid of going to court.
“All political parties including the All Progressives Congress, must pay for billboard adverts. It is in the adverts law of the state.
“No matter the cries, the law of the state supercedes every emotion and sentiment. Any political party that fails to pay for billboard adverts must not be allowed to mount their billboard.
“If you want to go to court, the CSOs should also add that as part of their suit.”