Tension as suspended Imo LG chairmen reject sacking
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.”