IMO, Nigeria – Local government chairmen and councillors from Imo State under former Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha have perfected plans to forcefully take over the 27 council offices on Monday, November 30th, 2020.
The 2018 ALGON, in a press briefing yesterday in Owerri accused the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma of speaking from both sides of his mouth, reminding him of his earlier promise not to disobey the law and constitution of the country which, according to them, recognized the judiciary as the highest arbiter of the law.
The Deputy Chairman of the ALGON, Hon. Evangelist Chinwe Obinna who stood in for the chairman, Hon. Emeka Osurji said the pronouncement of Senator Hope Uzodinma as the Governor of Imo State by the Apex Court on 14 January 2020 brought a new vista of hope to them after the alleged disregard of democratic principles by the immediate past Governor, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha to reinstate them as duly elected council chairmen.
He asked that the Interim Management Committee chairmen of the 27LGAs in the state earlier constituted by the Governor be dissolved to allow them complete their tenures.
He recalled that the current Governor, in a maiden meeting with the council bosses on 17 January 2020, categorically said that there wouldn’t be any Transition Committee in his government.
According to him, “the Governor told us that he would not be involved in any acts capable of bringing the judiciary to public disrepute and ridicule, knowing that he (the Governor) was a product of the law.
“Only very recently, the Federal High Court sitting in Owerri declared the caretaker chairmen appointed by the Governor of Imo as ‘ghost workers’ and directed that FAAC stop funding them until the validly elected chairmen return back to their various offices.
“We have the constitutional mandate to return to office considering the position of the Appeal Court in suit number CA/OW215/2011 between Enyinnaya Onuegbu and others versus the Attorney General of the state.
“The Supreme Court in Ekiti State also established that state governors lack constitutional powers to sack elected council officials.
“Recall also that the Attorney General of the Federation, Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) had, on the instruction of President Muhammadu Buhari, written to the immediate past Governor of Imo, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha immediately allow us, the elected council chairmen, to return to office. The letter, you will agree with me, still subsist.
“We want to use this auspicious moment to inform the good people of Imo State, all Nigerians of good conscience, that we are going back to our offices on Monday, 30 November 2020 to complete our constitutional tenure of three years.
“It is also with total humility to the Governor of Imo that we have exercised our patience for too long. This is not being disrespectful to his government.
“We, therefore, call on the security agencies, civil society groups and the entire Imo people to join forces with us on November 30, when we have decided to take over our offices. This will enable us complete our tenure and restore the forlorn hope of our electorates on whose mandate we won elections,” he concluded.