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Imo Politics

Ex Imo Speaker, SAN, Others Demand Declaration Of Araraume As Winner Of Okigwe Polls

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Legal luminaries have urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to quickly issue Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Araraume a Certificate of Return (CoR) for winning the December 5 Imo North Senatorial by-election. 

The senior lawyers who stated this while speaking to newsmen in Abuja yesterday include a former Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Barrister Kelechi Nwagwu; Barrister Philip Ibekwe, Mr. K. C Nwufo (SAN), and former Presidential Candidate, Barrister Godson Okoye.

Giving reason for his advice, former Imo House of Assembly Speaker, Nwagwu stated that Mr. Frank Ibezim, who is contending with Senator Araraume for the Imo North APC ticket had no locus in the election since a Federal High Court in Abuja had declared him ”unfit to hold public office and contest elections” in Nigeria because of his alleged forged certificates and perjury.

Nwagwu argued that since both the Federal High Court in Owerri and the one in Abuja had upheld the disqualification of Ibezim by the APC Screening Committee before the election, INEC should not hesitate to give Araraume the Certificate of Return.

He noted that since Araraume filed a Notice of Appeal and a Motion for Stay of Execution at the Supreme Court on the judgment of the Appeal Court, which had pronounced Ibezim winner of the APC Primaries, nobody could remove his name for that of Ibezim, who has been banned for life for the alleged criminal offences of perjury and forgery by Federal High Court, Abuja.

Speaking in a similar vein, Chief Nwufo (SAN), noted that since two Federal High Courts had found Ibezim guilty of perjury and forgery with the Court in Abuja banning him for life from contesting elections and holding public office, INEC must save itself the embarrassment of recognising a man found guilty of criminal offences.

Nwufo further stated that Ibezim must appeal against the judgment of Justice Inyang Ekwo of Abuja Federal High Court, which banned him from holding public office before he can contest any other election in Nigeria.

“Until this is done, INEC cannot even recognise Ibezim as a Candidate, not to talk of giving him Certificate of Return”, the SAN added.

Another senior lawyer, Victor Giwa, warned that it would amount to “an illegality of monumental proportion” for INEC to regard Ibezim as a candidate in the Imo North Senatorial by-election.

He added that abinitio, Ibezim was encumbered by both his disqualification by the APC Screening Committee and the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which declared him unfit to hold Public office.

The lawyer maintained that since at the time of the election, Ibezim was not qualified to contest, INEC must never see him as a candidate at all.

A former governorship aspirant and Lawyer, Chief Philip Ibekwe described Ibezim as “a statutory failure who has statutory stigma” and cannot hold public office on account of the two judgments, which found him guilty of perjury and forgery “.

Ibekwe described the judgment against Ibezim as “statutory impediments, which would make a mess of any attempt to recognise Ibezim as APC Candidate in the Imo North Senatorial by-election.

He expressed the view that Ibezim must appeal against this judgment first before he can contest election or hold public office in Nigeria.

Also former Presidential Candidate and Senior Lawyer, Okoye urged INEC and the courts to do the needful in the Imo North Senatorial by-election case.

He advised Senator Araraume to pursue his case with courage and determination since according to him, “the law will always tilt to the direction where justice weighs heavier”.

On his part, Imo State Chairman of APC, Chief Nwafor disclosed that the party was on the side of Araraume and would join him to get justice.

Recall that INEC conducted the Imo North Senatorial by-election on 5th December, 2020 but failed to declare a winner after announcing that APC won the highest number of votes cast in the election.

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Imo Politics

Shadow Government gives reasons for stopping Uzodinma’s criticisms

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… Calls on Imo people to exercise patience

… Describes Governor as committed leader.

Following the calls on the leadership of the Shadow Government, a pressure group that constructively critices the Governments at all levels over its sudden silence on the activities of the Imo state Government led by senator Hope Uzodinma, the body has finally given reasons for the said silence.

In a press release signed by the president of the group, Dr Anthony Iroegbu Njoku and made available to Lead Express, he revealed that shadow Government as a pressure group only speaks when the need arises particularly when the Government’s policies both at the federal and states are anti people adding that its silence after its report few months ago on Imo which attracted varying reactions from the Government and individuals is not out of fear or any other reason rather has been studying the Government’s policies and its style of governance to enable the group point succinctly the strength as well as the weakness of the government.

Iroegbu while marshalling out the reasons revealed that though Uzodinma may not have lived upto the people’s expectations one hundred percent but he is indeed committed and desirous of moving the state forward.

Dr Iroegbu who contested the 2019 Governorship seat of Imo state revealed that Uzodinma has good intentions but given the enormous challenges both man made and naturally made now slow down the required speed adding that two months to his assumption of office as the Governor of Imo state, the covid 19 virus hit the world which until now, is still ravaging the universe.

Iroegbu popularly known and addressed as Omenuko noted that while Imo and the World in general are still battling the effects of the covid-19, Uzodinma was struck with another but an unavoidable distraction from the Okorocha’s political dynasty of alleged converted Imo properties which almost resulted in open combat between the loyalists of senator Okorocha and the Appointees of the state Government.

While that was on, Unknown gunmen started causing havocs in the state which included destruction of Owerri Correctional Centre, the Imo state police command amongst others.

Iroegbu further revealed that the series of attacks both in Orlu by yet to be identified gunmen which led to loss of lives and properties, Ihitte Uboma,Oguta amongst others at the formation of the Uzodinma’s administration are capable of distracting a focused and determined Government yet Uzodinma to a reasonable extent is committed in moving the state forward, he said.

He advised him to look into the poverty in the state with a view of solving it.

He however appealed with Imo people to exercise a little patience with the Governor assuring that he is likely going to take Imo to that Promised Land.

He used the medium to call on those responsible for the said attacks to cease adding that Imo does not belong to Uzodinma but for all of us hence all we still suffer the pains of the destruction of the Government institutions in Imo.

Also Read; JUSUN continued strike: Imo Lawyers roast, resort to borrowing

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Imo Politics

House of Assembly enacts Law establishing security organization over insecurity

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Against the backdrop of insecurity in Imo state, the House of Assembly has enacted a law which will put to check the rising breakdown of law and order in the state.

The state Assembly led by Paul Emeziem, in an emergency seating on Friday, deliberated on the bill presented by the deputy Majority Leader and member representing Ehime-mbano state constituency, Emeka Nduka.

Presenting the bill, the deputy majority leader stressed the need to beef up security network in the state, adding that the passage of the bill into law will go a long way in bringing the security situation in the state to the barest minimum.

Nduka while leading debate urged members to give their support to the passage of this bill, adding that it is for the interest of the public.

“Take for instance the level of crisis witnessed in the state in recent times. This bill, as you all know, if passed into law, will confront the prevailing security situation in the state and restore the relative peace and tranquility which was the hallmark of the state.

“You will agree with me that other southeast states have established their state security organizations or outfits. Imo state should not be left out given the rising breakdown of law and order.”

The bill, ‘a bill for a law to establish Imo security organization to assist in maintaining law and order in the state and other purposes thereto’, was given accelerated hearing by members and eventually passed into law.

Another bill equally passed into law on Friday was, ‘a bill for a law to establish Imo state geographic information service for the purpose of regulating land administration in Imo state and other matters related thereto’, as well as a motion to ‘adopt the sitting days of the second session of the 9th Assembly,’ sponsored and moved by the member representing Ehime-mbano state constituency, Hon. Emeka Anthony Nduka.

The House was however, was adjourned to 21st of May, 2021.

Also Read; JUSUN continued strike: Imo Lawyers roast, resort to borrowing

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Imo Politics

JUSUN continued strike: Imo Lawyers roast, resort to borrowing

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… Uzodinma Yet To Take Decision.

The continued strike action of the Judicial Union Staff of Nigeria (JUSUN) has resulted in untold hardship to the Lawyers in Nigeria and Imo in particular.

This is even as the Imo state Governor,Senator Hope Uzodinma amongst other Governors are yet to take decision over the lingering strike action.

This paper authoritatively gathered that most of the practicing Lawyers particularly, the Gunior ones have resorted to borrowing money from friends in other professions as well as Banks to enable them take proper care of their individual families.

Members of JUSUN have for some months now embarked on indefinite strike,demanding financial autonomy from the state Governments, an act which has attracted varying reactions across board.

While majority of Nigerians commend the Union for seeking financial autonomy which has its root from the Nigeria Constitution, others are of the view that though that the demand of the said union is in order but it is coming at the time when the nation is going through economic problems occasioned by certain factors.

Speaking with Lead, one of the senior Lawyers in Imo who would not want his name in print appealed with Imo state Government to come to a dialogue with JUSUN workers in the State pointing out that the lawyers are the major people suffering the continued strike since the Courts are under lock and key.

The Lawyer however pointed out that while the Judicial Workers are on strike their salaries are still running which they would receive after the strike but the Lawyers make their daily pay only when the courts are functional.

The lawyer further revealed that virtually all the lawyers now live on borrowing.

Also Read; Workers salary: Samdaddy demands apology from Imo Government

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