Uzod­inma sworn in, be­gins probe of three ex-gover­nors

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THe new gov­er­nor of Imo State, Hope Uzod­inma, on Wed­nes­day ini­ti­ated the process of the probe of con­tracts awarded from 2010 till date in the state.

He also sought the com­pre­hen­sive fi­nan­cial sta­tus of the state within the same pe­riod.

For­mer gover­nors Ikedi Ohakim, Rochas Oko­rocha and emeka Ihe­dioha were in charge of the state dur­ing the pe­riod.

The gov­er­nor gave the or­der in his in­au­gu­ral speech, af­ter he was sworn in.

He said his ad­min­is­tra­tion was an­chored on re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, re­con­struc­tion and re­cov­ery.

Ac­cord­ing to him, he will re­vive the state and make it work again.

He said the ju­di­ciary demon­strated courage by declar­ing him the duly elected gov­er­nor of the state.

He said his vic­tory at the Supreme Court would not have been pos­si­ble with­out the sup­port of the lead­er­ship of the All Pro­gres­sives Congress.

The gov­er­nor said, “My gov­ern­ment shall be an­chored on re­con­struc­tion, re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and re­cov­ery. ev­ery Imo per­son shall have a say in my gov­ern­ment.

“My doors are wide open. I for­give those who con­spired to rob me of my hard-earned man­date. Let us work hard to make Imo the pride of Nige­ria.

“I hereby di­rect the ac­coun­tant gen­eral of the state to within four days for­ward to me the com­pre­hen­sive fi­nan­cial sta­tus of the state from May 2010 till date.

“I also di­rect the per­ma­nent sec­re­taries of all the min­istries to within the same pe­riod to­ward the sta­tus of the con­tracts awarded within the time frame. Pay­ment of all on­go­ing con­tracts is hereby stopped.”

ear­lier, the In­de­pen­dent Na­tional elec­toral Com­mis­sion on Wed­nes­day gave the Cer­tifi­cate of Re­turn to Uzod­inma.

He said the apex court cor­rected the ‘wrongs’ of the lower court and Court of Ap­peal and used its ea­gle eye of the law to give him jus­tice.

“The first court did not do the thing we ex­pected, the sec­ond court fol­lowed suit. But the Supreme Court used the ea­gle eye of the law and gave us jus­tice,” Uzod­inma said af­ter re­ceiv­ing his Cer­tifi­cate of Re­turn from INEC Na­tional Com­mis­sioner and Chair­per­son (Le­gal Ser­vices), May Ag­ba­muche-mbu, in Abuja on Wed­nes­day.

Imo bank ac­counts frozen

Mean­while, Uzod­inma gave an or­der to all fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions where the state funds were domi­ciled not to hon­our any draft un­til fur­ther no­tice.

The or­der came late on Tues­day hours af­ter the Supreme Court de­clared the APC can­di­date the duly elected gov­er­nor of the state.

A let­ter was ad­dressed to the re­gional di­rec­tors and man­agers of all the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions in Imo State, and was signed by Cosmos Iwu, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Sen­a­tor Hope Uzod­inma Cam­paign Or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The three-para­graph let­ter which was sighted by one of our cor­re­spon­dents on Wed­nes­day read in part, “Fol­low­ing the Supreme Court judg­ment of 14th Jan­uary, 2020, I am di­rected by His ex­cel­lency, Sen­a­tor Hope Uzod­inma, to take this as your au­thor­ity to place a post no debit or­der on all ac­counts of the Imo State Gov­ern­ment main­tained in your var­i­ous in­sti­tu­tions.

“You are by this let­ter di­rected to com­ply and await fur­ther in­struc­tions from the Of­fice of His ex­cel­lency, the ex­ec­u­tive Gov­er­nor of Imo State.”

APC govs hail Uzod­inma

How­ever, gover­nors of the APC on Wed­nes­day con­grat­u­lated Uzod­inma.

The chair­man of the Pro­gres­sives Gover­nors Fo­rum and Gov­er­nor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, in a state­ment com­mended Uzod­inma for his abid­ing faith in the ju­di­ciary.

The state­ment read, “We re­joice with you and the peo­ple of Imo State, and all lovers of democ­racy and jus­tice in Nige­ria in this rightly de­served vic­tory that re­stored your stolen man­date.

“We in par­tic­u­lar wish to com­mend your dogged­ness, re­silience, com­mit­ment to the rule of law and abid­ing faith in the ju­di­ciary that cul­mi­nated into this ul­ti­mate vic­tory. It is vic­tory at last for us all.”

Uzod­inma fol­lowed due

process –Gba­jabi­amila

Also, the Speaker of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Femi Gba­jabi­amila, has con­grat­u­lated Uzod­inma.

Gba­jabi­amila via his ver­i­fied per­sonal Twit­ter han­dle, @ femigbaja, on Wed­nes­day, said the can­di­date of the APC fol­lowed due demo­cratic process to gain the gov­er­nor­ship seat.

The Speaker also con­grat­u­lated the rul­ing APC, urg­ing its mem­bers to re­main calm.

He tweeted, “Con­grat­u­la­tions to Sen­a­tor Hope Uzod­inma on his vic­tory at the Supreme Court, which de­clared him win­ner of the March 9, 2019, Imo State gov­er­nor­ship elec­tion. Your stead­fast­ness in seek­ing jus­tice by fol­low­ing the due demo­cratic process all the way to the Supreme Court has paid off.

“Let me also con­grat­u­late our party faith­ful and urge them to re­main stead­fast in fly­ing high the @Of­fi­cialapcng flag.”

ZBM con­grat­u­lates Uzod­inma

Zik­ist-buharist Move­ment on Wed­nes­day con­grat­u­lated Uzodimma for his vic­tory.

The Sec­re­tary of ZBM, God­win On­wusi, said Uzodimma’s vic­tory was “God or­dained.”

The group in a state­ment said, “We of the ZBM com­mend His ex­cel­lency, Hope Uzod­inma, and his team for the un­com­mon dili­gence in not only as­sem­bling the 388 ex­cluded re­sult sheets, but the metic­u­lous man­ner they were pre­sented at the Supreme Court.

“The team did not rely on nonex­ist­ing server, but pre­sented gen­uine re­sult sheets, which was col­lab­o­rated of­fi­cially.”

He said the re­cov­ery of Imo by the APC had re­turned the South­east to main­stream pol­i­tics in Nige­ria and kept the hope of Ndigbo alive.

Ihe­dioha will emerge stronger, says Atiku

But the 2019 pres­i­den­tial can­di­date of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, on Wed­nes­day urged Imo State peo­ple not to de­spair over the nul­li­fi­ca­tion of the elec­toral vic­tory of Ihe­dioha.

Atiku in a state­ment said Ihe­dioha would over­come his set­back and emerge stronger.

The for­mer Vice-pres­i­dent stated that since the “Supreme Court ver­dict is fi­nal, ev­ery­body must ac­cept its judg­ment, no mat­ter un­ex­pected and un­palat­able it may be.”

Atiku said, “Let me state un­equiv­o­cally that I sol­i­darise with emeka Ihe­dioha, a man I know to be a great leader of men and re­sources. In the full­ness of time, I am con­vinced that he will over­come this set­back and emerge stronger.

“I also stand fully with the PDP. In good and bad times, we must con­tinue to be the ob­ject of hope that the Nige­rian peo­ple have for their es­cape from the pre­vail­ing despo­tism and de­spair that has gripped al­most ev­ery as­pect of our na­tional life. We pro­vided gen­uine democ­racy for this na­tion once be­fore, and I be­lieve it is our des­tiny to demo­crat­i­cally re­store what has been lost due to the en­croach­ment of anti demo­cratic agents.”

My re­moval against Imo peo­ple’s wish –Ihe­dioha How­ever, Ihe­dioha on Wed­nes­day said he did not agree with the Supreme Court judg­ment which sacked him as the gov­er­nor of Imo State.

Ihe­dioha, in a state­ment he per­son­ally signed, said the apex court sacked him in con­tra­ven­tion of the will of the peo­ple of the state.

He said he fought against “prin­ci­pal­i­ties and pow­ers” to re­main as the gov­er­nor of the state, but had sub­mit­ted to the judg­ment which ousted him.

The for­mer gov­er­nor said that he had di­rected his aides to han­dover gov­ern­ment prop­er­ties in their pos­ses­sions to the new ad­min­is­tra­tion, say­ing that he would not be a party to any pil­fer­ing of gov­ern­ment prop­erty or funds.

He said, “I am re­port­ing back to you our great Imo peo­ple on the fate of the man­date you freely gave to me as gov­er­nor and Ger­ald Irona as deputy gov­er­nor. This man­date has now been trun­cated and cut short by the Supreme Court, in con­tra­ven­tion of the will of the peo­ple.

“We shall al­ways cher­ish the tremen­dous good­will and sup­port you gave us as we grap­pled with set­ting up a new ad­min­is­tra­tion to re­build a state that was dev­as­tated by bad gov­er­nance.

“In the last seven months we sought to el­e­vate merit, unity of pur­pose, hon­esty, trans­parency and an in­clu­sive ap­proach to gov­er­nance, as the hall­marks of our ad­min­is­tra­tion. We sought to re­store once again, the pride and dig­nity of Imo peo­ple. We worked very hard to reengi­neer the Imo re­nais­sance. But God knows why he has al­lowed this cur­rent state of af­fairs.

“No doubt, yes­ter­day’s Supreme Court ver­dict, came to us as a rude shock and sur­prise con­sid­er­ing the facts on the ground, le­gal prece­dence and clear ver­dict of Imo Peo­ple on March 9, 2019, that re­turned me as gov­er­nor with the high­est valid votes of 273,404

“I do not agree with the judg­ment of the Supreme Court. I think it is un­fair, un­just and does not re­flect the vot­ing that took place dur­ing the elec­tions. It also didn’t take care of the sen­si­bil­i­ties of the peo­ple of Imo State. But as true democrats, Ger­ald Irona and I have no op­tion but to re­spect the out­come of that judg­ment.”

You have my sup­port – Ihe­dioha’s wife

Mean­while, the wife of the ousted gov­er­nor, ebere Ihe­dioha, on Wed­nes­day as­sured her hus­band, Ihe­dioha, that he had her sup­port.

The im­me­di­ate past first lady of the state took to her of­fi­cial ver­i­fied Face­book han­dle and stated that she was stand­ing by her hus­band.

She de­scribed Ihe­dioha as her love, part­ner and friend .

She wrote “My Love, my Part­ner and my Friend. Nkem!

#Igo­ty­our­back”

•Uzod­inma

•Imo State Gov­er­nor, Mr Hope Uzod­inma (left), re­ceiv­ing his Cer­tifi­cate of Re­turn from INEC Com­mis­sioner and Chair­man (Le­gal Ser­vices), May Ag­ba­muche-mbu, in Abuja ...on Wed­nes­day. Photo: Fri­day Olokor

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