The Imo Coalition for Change Initiative, has called on Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha implement immediately the July 5, 2012 Court of Appeal judgement reversing his dissolution of the 27 local governments councils in the state.
Dr Fabian Ihekweme, Director-General of the group said that in the judgment, Hon Justice Uwani Musa Abba Aji, leading two others justices stated that pursuant to ‘’Section 7(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and section 23(1) of the Local Government Administration Law No. 15 2000 (as amended), the second respondent, (Gov Okorocha) had no competence or power either by himself or through any person acting on his behalf to dissolve democratically elected local government councils in Imo State in which the claimants are chairmen’’
The local government councils were dissolved by Okoroccha through his maiden broadcast to Imo people on June 6, 2011’’
The court papers showed that other justices on the panel includes Hon Justice Mojeed A. Owoade and Hon Justice Haruna Tsammani.
The Court’s judgement with consequential orders ordered Imo State Government to reinstate the sacked local government chairmen.
Addressing a press conference at the Nigerian Union of Journalists Press Centre, Dr Ihekweme said the group have watched with keen interest, the retrogression of Imo State into lawlessness and executive recklessness.
‘’The deliberate refusal of Gov. Okorocha to obey the Court of Appeal’s ruling is only a tip of the iceberg in the rule of executive recklessness which the administration of Gov. Okorocha has imposed on Imo State.
‘’The Okorocha administration operates outside the borders of due process and good governance standards. For instance, in his administration, contracts are awarded indiscriminately for capital projects without job order, no bill of quantity, no costing and no agreement.
‘’Gov. Okorocha awards contracts running into millions of Naira orally, and working within the limitation. This haphazard arrangement has led to one job being awarded to two different contractors simultaneously. And this had led to serious financial complications for investors.
“Securitywise, ‘Imo has become the kidnapping capital of the world. Even incidents involving the Kidnapping of former top government officials, when reported to the governor does not attract the desired reaction. Is it not the duty of government to provide security for its citizens? Why has Gov. Okorocha left Imo people to the mercy of kidnappers?’’
According to Ihekweme, Okorocha does not appear to have any agenda for Imo people, as he has not enunciated any programme nor has he initiated any programme to improve the living standards of Imo people.
“We urge Gov. Okorocha to borrow a leaf from the dynamic administration of Gov. Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom who has within a short space of time transformed Akwa Ibom state and economically empowered his people.
“With this landmark ruling, we also advise him to reinstate all statutory departments and parastatals which he dissolved. These are agencies empowered by law with tenured specifications for its board, like Imo State House of Assembly Commission; Imo State Judicial Commission; Imo State Independent Electoral Commission and other statutory boards dissolved without reason.’’ He affirmed.