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Okorocha surrenders, may recall sacked LG chairmen

By Boniface Okoro, Umuahia on 24/07/2012

Views: 2,562

Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has shown what appears to be an olive branch to local government chairmen across the state elected prior to his assumption of office but sacked by him on the argument that their election was illegal.

Indications that the governor may be caving in to pressure came yesterday morning when he made a broadcast, inviting the sacked council chairmen to a meeting this Friday.

Okorocha is of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) while the council chairmen are of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and were elected during the erstwhile PDP-led government of Chief Ikedi Ohakim. While Okorocha based his June 6 dismissal of the LG chiefs on the basis that the election that brought them into office was held in contempt of a court order, the Court of Appeal on July 5 ordered him to reinstate the elected 27 council chairmen and 305 councillors, saying that he lacked the powers to unilaterally remove elected officers who were yet to serve out their tenure.

Okorocha has headed for the Supreme Court and has so far ignored the federal government’s direction for him to obey the verdict of the appellate court.

The governor’s reluctance to obey the appeal court judgment has brought him biting criticism, mainly from the PDP. Berating Okorocha, PDP National Vice Chairman, South East, Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd), on Monday accused him of adopting tactics to delay the execution of the Appeal Court ruling.

In a statement, Akobundu called on Okorocha to respect the Nigerian constitution which he swore to protect and the judgment of the Court of Appeal by allowing the reinstated local government chairmen and councillors in Imo State to perform their duties.

“It is a matter of regret that the governor declared a three-day public holidays for local government workers in Imo state and sent heads of Accounts on and Treasurers on a three-week leave to prevent the reinstated chairmen and councillors from assuming duties,” the South East PDP chief noted.

When he paid a thank-you-visit to Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State, Akobundu had promised to lead Imo and Anambra states back to PDP, saying they were lost to APGA due to internal wrangling.

Source TBE

Posted 24/07/2012 12:25:35 PM





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