Sultan Has No Power To Appoint District Heads – Sokoto Govt

The Sokoto State government has said that the Sultan Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III has no constitutional power to appoint district and village heads in the North-West state.

The state’s Attorney General, Muhammad Nasiru Binji, stated this at a public hearing at the State House of Assembly on Tuesday.

INFORMATION NIGERIA learnt that the public hearing was on a bill for a law to further amend the State’s Local Government and Chieftaincy Law 2008.

He said the law which gives the Sultan the power to appoint anyone contravened the 1999 constitution.

Binji said: “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. Section 76(2) of the Sokoto Local government and Chieftancy Law give the sultanate council the power to appoint district and village heads in the state but with the approval of the sitting Governor.

“So the section is inconsistent with the 1999 constitution as amended and therefore it cannot stand. Because the power to appoint is the executive power and who exercise the power, is it not the Governor? This is the reason for the amendment. To correct the mistake of the past.

“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.”