A federal High court in Owerri, the Imo State capital, has ordered the governor of the state, Hope Uzodinma, to reinstate sacked 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 the 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 jurist ordered that the LGA allocations be stopped until the governor obeyed the court judgment, reinstating the sacked chairmen.
One of the reinstated chairmen, Chizobom O. Chizobam, told our correspondent on the phone that the judgment “is a landmark judgment.”
He said, “This is a victory for democracy, rule of law and constitutionality. We are going back to our offices immediately as the court has ordered.
“We have often said that we are ready to work with the governor, Hope Uzodinma, who is the leader of our party, APC.” – Punch.