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Imo Politics

Court strikes out suit against Gov Uzodimma over appointment of Chief Judge

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has struck out a suit instituted against the National Judicial Council, NJC and Imo State governor, Sen. Hope Uzodimma to challenge the suitability of Justice Ijeoma Agugua as the substantive Chief Judge of Imo State.

Information available to Eastern Lead Express, states that the court action instituted by Hon Justin Brown Amadi who claimed to be a taxpayer was struck out by Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo on the ground that the plaintiff has no locus standi to file the suit.

 Hon Amadi had earlier joined Imo State Judicial Commission, Imo State governor, Imo State Attorney General, Imo State House of Assembly and Justice Ijeoma Agugua as other defendants in the matter.

He had requested that the court should consider if the NJC has the capacity to recommend a suitable person for appointment as Chief Judge for Imo State according to the provision of section 158 of the 1999 constitution.

Also he applied for court order to restrain the NJC from recommending the Judge as the substantive Chief Judge for Imo State.

He also claimed that his right to fair hearing will be breached if Justice Agugua is made the substantive Chief Judge without attending to his petition.

Also Read: Court dismisses exam fraud charges against Adeleke

Following the development, the defendants filed separate preliminary objections against the suit to query the legal right of the plaintiff in the Chief Judge appointment.

The defendants contended that being a mere taxpayer in Imo State cannot confer legal right to Amadi to hold Governor Uzodimma and institutions to ransom in the discharge of their judicial and legitimate official functions.

However, according to judgment, Justice Ekwo agreed that Amadi has no legal right to maintain such a suit before a court of record.

Also he held that the plaintiff completely failed to prove how his legal right will be jeopardized if the defendants are allowed to perform their duties.

“The plaintiff failed to show how his personal right overrides those of the entire people of Imo state as being a taxpayer is not enough to institute such an action.

“In a suit of this nature, plaintiff must establish that his personal interest and legal right are real and tangible in law and not personal aggrandizement as done in this matter.

“From the totality of the case of the plaintiff, he acted in bad faith with utter malice. He embarked on adventures without a cause. His case is simply mischievous.

“I disagree with the plaintiff that his right to fair hearing will be breached unless his petition against Justice Agugua is treated first by the NJC.

“To allow the plaintiff to go ahead with this kind of suit will amount to an individual holding a statutory body into ransom.

“This case is liable to be struck out and I hereby accordingly strike it out for lacking in merit and substance,” the Judges held.

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Imo Politics

Uzodinma, Okorocha supporters clash over plan to recall ex-governor

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Supporters of Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, and his predecessor, Rochas Okorocha, have clashed over an alleged plan to recall Okorocha as the Senator representing Imo West District at the National Assembly.

While a group of Uzodinma’s supporters called the Orlu Political Consecutive Assembly has insisted to continue with plans to recall Okorocha from the Senate, the Association of Orlu Women for Good Governance has urged Uzodinma not to spend state resources to recall the senator.

AOWGG, at a press conference, asked Uzodinma and Okorocha – who they described as their sons – to stop “disgracing the people of Orlu zone.”

The association’s President-General, Mrs Bailia Chibuike, advised Uzodinma to face governance and stop fighting Okorocha.

She said, “The government of Chief Hope Uzodinma should face governance and provide the dividends of democracy for Imo people and leave Okorocha alone.

“The state government should take back the N1bn reported to have been given to OPOCA (Orlu Political Consecutive Assembly) for the so-called recall of Okorocha and use the money for other meaningful things in the state.”

However, OPOCA has insisted on its plans to recall Okorocha, saying the senator “has crossed the red line and has touched the tail of a sleeping tiger.”

Also Read: Buhari decorates new service chiefs today

The group’s spokesperson, Modestus Nwamkpa, who is also the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Print Media, said Okorocha had not represented the district well at the Senate.

Nwamkpa said it was wrong for Okorocha to have launched a “campaign of calumny” against the governor, who is also from Orlu zone, where Okorocha represents at the Senate.

Nwamkpa said, “Now, the question is: why does OPOCA want to recall Okorocha? It is said that ‘he who obstructs the peace of the beehive should endure the pains of the bees’ stings.’

“Okorocha has actually crossed the red line. He has touched the tail of a sleeping tiger and the resultant effect is what he is currently facing – recall.”

Nwamkpa said OPOCA had been at the forefront of defending the interest of Orlu zone, saying “any Orlu man holding the position of Imo governorship must be protected at all costs. Orlu’s interest must come first.”

Okorocha had on February 21 alleged that Uzodinma attacked him with thugs.

The former governor and three of his political associates were also arrested by the state police command after government and security officials stormed the Royal Spring Palm Estate, Owerri, and unsealed it.

The estate was linked to Okorocha’s wife, Nkechi.

The state government said its action was in accordance with a report of a judicial panel set up by a former governor, Emeka Ihedioha, before he left office.

Meanwhile, youths operating under the aegis of Imo West Youths for Good Governance have asked Uzodinma to sack his Special Adviser on Special Duties, Chinasa Nwaneri, and his Senior Special Assistant on Youth Affairs, Eric Uwakwe, for allegedly leading thugs to attack Okorocha on February 21.

At a press conference in Owerri, the state capital, on Wednesday, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, IWYGG, Prince Wisdom Nwauwa, asked the governor to hand over the two aides to the police for prosecution.

Nwauwa said that the attack on Okorocha, who is a serving senator, “was another sad commentary on our democracy.” 

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Imo Politics

Nwafor vs Nlemigbo: S/C adjourns October 2022, as Nwafor’s tenure expires July 2022

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Supreme Court of Nigeria has adjourned suit brought to it by the National leadership of the APC against Daniel Nwafor over the state chairman seat of the party in Imo.

Dan Nwafor had dragged the party in the state to court challenging the constitution of the caretaker in Imo when his tenure as the elected chairman of the party is yet to elapse.

The court of Appeal in 2020 gave judgment in favour of Nwafor as the only legal and authentic state chairman of the APC.

Read Also; Over 200 lecturers lose jobs at Fed Poly Nekede, Rector fingered

The court further ruled that caretaker was not known by law, hence Nwafor would remain on seat pending the lapse of his tenure which takes place by July 2022.

Unsatisfied with the said judgment of the court of Appeal, the APC in a suit number Sc/cv/884/2020, adjourned the matter to October 2022 for hearing.

However, the implication of this long adjournment remains that Dan Nwafor by virtue of the Court of Appeal judgment remains the elected state chairman of the APC in Imo.

Another implication is, before the adjourned date by the Supreme Court, Nwafor’s tenure must have elapsed.

It would be recalled that the National leadership of the APC had in 2018, appointed Nlemigbo, the state caretaker committee chairman of the APC to replace the elected chairman, Dan Nwafor

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Imo Politics

Okorocha’s Misdeeds In Imo — Uzodinma

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Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, yesterday, said he had no personal dispute with his predecessor, Senator Rochas Okorocha.

The clash between the supporters of the governor and his predecessor resulted into to the death of two persons on Sunday over the sealing of Royal Spring Palm Estate Hotel, Akachi, by the state government.

The All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state is tangled in a crisis following the political differences and feud between Okorocha and Uzodinma.

Speaking after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, the governor faulted the claims that he was plotting Okorocha’s assassination.

“I don’t know about any attempt to assassinate Okorocha, rather what I know, is I have no personal issues with Okorocha.

“You will recall that before I became governor, the Ihedioha administration set up a judicial panel of inquiry to look into acquisitions and allegations of lands, converting government lands to personal property, and then removing private lands from individuals and giving them other individuals.

“The judicial panel of inquiry chaired by a judge met and they brought their job to a conclusion. And a white paper has since been raised.

Also Read: Okorocha has been released – Imo police

“You know institutions and agencies that are involved with implementation are doing their job. And the only thing I know is that a few days ago, the former governor went with his thugs to one of the properties sealed by government. You people saw it, it was live.

“He went there with thugs, wounded the policemen there, wounded the NSCDC officer, who is currently still in the hospital and then broke in and entered.

“Of course, you must have heard him say that he is richer than government and that he is above the law. I am not directly involved. It is a position taken by government.

“There is a difference between governor and government. The government of Imo State sealed the property. And I think that if there is anything anybody considers not right, the person should go to court to redress the issue and not take the law into one’s hand, or take to self-help.

“I remember that under Ihedioha, there was a recovery committee, chaired by one Jasper Ndubaku. When they tried to visit Okorocha’s house, they were beaten to a stupor. And the same man who did that is now doing the same thing and almost killed the man who did it during his time,” Uzodinma said.

Meanwhile, Okorocha has debunked the claims that all the 14 persons arrested in connection with the invasion of Royal Palm Spring Hotel were his aides.

Okorocha, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser (Media), Sam Onwuemeodo, said only two of the defendants were his aides.

He said 11 others were staff of the hotel, while one was a social media influencer, who was there to do his job.

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