The twenty-seven (27) Local Government chairmen and six hundred and forty-five (645) councillors elected by the former Governor Rochas Okorocha’s administration, operating on the aegis of Legislative Council Leaders Forum, but suspended by the Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha-led government, have once again restated their determination to forcefully take over their offices on Monday, November 30, 2020, to complete their constitutional tenure of three years.
Addressing a section of the press, Thursday, last week at Westbrook Hotel, Owerri, the chairman of the forum, Rt. Hon. Abed Ochaso Njemanze pointed out that they were duly elected and sworn-in on August 27, 2018, for a three-year tenure but were suspended by the Rt. Hon. Ihedioha government without recourse to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
According to him, they had expected Governor Uzodimma, as a frontline beneficiary of an earlier court ruling to obey the verdict of the court, especially as they all belong to the same party-APC.
He disclosed that the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, acting on President Buhari’s directive had written to Governor Hope Uzodimma to allow them, in line with the verdict of the court and the constitution, to return to their duty posts.
While pledging loyalty and support to Governor Uzodimma in his efforts to actualize the 3R Mantra of his administration, he added: “It is interesting to note that the above-mentioned illegality by the Imo State government led to litigation against the state by the 2018 ALGON at the Federal High Court, Owerri, and on July 1, 2020, the court ordered for an immediate reinstatement of the chairmen and councillors as the governor and the State House of Assembly have no power to dissolve or suspend elected local government officials.
“We, therefore, wish to inform Imolites, Nigerians and the world at large that we, as the elected chairmen and councillors have the legal mandate to return to our various legislative council chambers to resume work, unfailingly on Monday, November 30, 2020.
“To this end, we wish to inform the people of Imo State and Nigerians that by 30th November 2020, we shall be going back to our office to complete our constitutional tenure of three years.”
Rt. Hon. Njemanze, equally appealed to security agencies, the press, civil organizations to support them in their effort to restore democratic principles at the local government level.