A federal High court in Owerri, the Imo State capital, on Wednesday, July 1st ordered the governor of the state, Hope Uzodinma, to reinstate suspended chairmen and councilors of the 27 Local Government Areas of the state who were sacked by the administration of the ousted governor, Emeka Ihedioha.
Ihedioha had through the state House of Assembly sacked the LGA chairmen and councilors, a policy the incumbent governor upheld.
The LGA bosses and councilors were elected in 2018 during the administration of a former governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha.
Justice Tijani Rigime who delivered the judgment ordered the sacked chairmen and councilors to return to office ‘immediately’.
He described the Interim Management Committee chairmen of the LGAs appointed by the state governor as “ghost workers”.
The judge said, “An order seeking that the sacked chairmen be reinstated is hereby granted. The constitution is very clear on this that it is reckless and executive lawlessness for the executive to sack duly elected Local Government chairmen.
“Interim Management Committee chairmen as appointed by the state governor are ghost workers before the law. ”
According to the jurist, the governor had no legal right to sack elected LGA chairmen whose tenure was guaranteed by the constitution.
The Judge went further to order that Revenue And Mobilization fiscal allocation Commission (RAMFAC) to stop further release of funds to Imo state government until the duly elected Local government chairmen, vice chairmen and councillors takes their seats fully at the local government council Areas.
While reacting to judgement in Abuja, the Deputy chairman of Mbaitoli LGA and Chairman of Association of Local government vice chairmen of Nigeria (ALGVON); Rt.Hon. Godstime Chukwubuikem Samuel thanked God Almighty for the victory and applauded the Judiciary for standing by the provisions of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.
Hon. Godstime affirmed that the local government chairmen, vice chairmen and councillors will work smoothly with the Senator Hope Uzodinma led state government for the good of Ndi Imo and Imo state.
The counsel to Imo state Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Barr. Ezeoba Maduabuchi thanked the court for upholding justice.