Ten­sion as sus­pended Imo LG chair­men re­ject sack­ing

The Punch - - POLITICS TODAY - Chi­diebube Okeoma, Ow­erri

THERE was ten­sion in the early hours of Mon­day in Imo State when the sus­pended chair­men of the var­i­ous lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas be­sieged their coun­cil head­quar­ters and vowed to re­sume du­ties.

The sus­pended coun­cil bosses had re­lied on the Supreme Court judg­ment in a case be­tween the sus­pended chair­men in Ek­iti State and the state gov­ern­ment.

They ar­gued that the apex court had de­clared that no gov­er­nor had le­gal right to sus­pend elected coun­cil bosses.

At­tempts to pre­vent the sus­pended chair­men from re­sum­ing du­ties, led to clashes in most LGAS in the state.

The sus­pended LGA chair­men and their coun­cil­lors had mo­bilised their sup­port­ers to the coun­cils while the In­terim Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee chair­men equally mo­bilised their sup­port­ers to the var­i­ous coun­cil head­quar­ters.

The de­vel­op­ment cre­ated ten­sion in the ar­eas.

This was even as Sam On­wue­meodo, the me­dia aide to the im­me­di­ate past gov­er­nor of the state, Sen­a­tor Rochas Oko­rocha, claimed that the sus­pended chair­men had “suc­cess­fully” re­sumed du­ties in 19 out of 27 LGAS in the state.

But Kissinger Ikeokwu, one of the ap­pointees of Gov­er­nor Emeka Ihe­dioha, mocked the sus­pended chair­men when he said they re­sumed du­ties at the gates of the coun­cil head­quar­ters.

Ikeokwu said, “Afraid that they are bound to lose at the Supreme Court, the sus­pended chair­men have des­per­ately ac­ti­vated plans to cre­ate cri­sis and put Imo State on the spot­light.”

The Se­nior Spe­cial As­sis­tant to the Gov­er­nor on Pub­lic En­light­en­ment, Eze Ugochukwu, said, “The judge­ment on the Ek­iti State lo­cal gov­ern­ment chair­men is not ap­pli­ca­ble in Imo State. In law, there is no re­sort to self help.”

how­ever, On­wue­meodo, dis­agreed with the gov­er­nor’s aide po­si­tion on the is­sue.

he said, “The ef­fort made by the PDP gov­ern­ment in the state to get court in­junc­tion on Mon­day against the re­sump­tion of duty by the elected coun­cil chair­men and coun­cil­lors failed woe­fully be­cause none of the judges ap­proached agreed to do that.

“hav­ing failed on the is­sue of court or­der, the gov­ern­ment ca­joled the po­lice, lever­ag­ing on the new­ness of the Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice, who is not up to one week in the state, to roll out tanks in some lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas against the chair­men and coun­cil­lors and the APC mem­bers who had ac­com­pa­nied them to their re­spec­tive LGAS head­quar­ters to re­sume duty.

“The role of the po­lice in the con­cerned LGAS was a clear case of sup­port­ing il­le­gal­ity and we watch what hap­pens next.”

When con­tacted, the po­lice spokesper­son in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, said there was no Supreme Court judg­ment that au­tho­rised the sus­pended LGAS chair­men to re­sume du­ties.

he said what the sus­pended LGAS chair­men were do­ing was an “in­frac­tion.”

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