By Okey Alozie
Barely 6 days after the swearing- in of Senator Hope Uzodinma as Governor of Imo State, he is now said to be griped with serious temptation and confusion.
First of all, the suspended LGA chairmen and councilors have returned back to office despite his warning that they should stay clear from the council.
The chairmen and councilors who claimed to have been elected during Owelle Rochas Okorocha’s led administration were sacked by Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha immediately he assumed office as the governor of Imo State.
The attorney General of the federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN has expressed dismay over what he described as the continued non-adherence by some state Governors and State House of Assembly to the provisions of the constitution, noting that the appointment of Caretaker Committees is outrightly illegal as contained in a statement made public.
The statement issued by Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Malami reads, “the Honourable Attorney General of the federation, in line with his constitutional role as the Chief Law Officer of the federation under section 150 (1) of the 1999 constitution (as amended), has noted with dismay the continued non-adherence by some State Governors and State House of Assembly to the provisions of section 7 (1) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) as it relates to the existence, administration and control of local government councils in Nigeria. This unpleasant development without doubt is hindering the much needed grassroot development expected to be put in place by the Third Tier of Government”.
The Attorney General made reference to the provisions of the 1999 constitution (as amended) under section 7 (1) which reads, “ the system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this constitution guaranteed, and accordingly, the government of every state shall, subject to section 8 of this constitution, ensure their existence under a law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils”
He said in his issued statement that the House of Assembly of a state has no power to make any law conferring a state governor with the power to truncate democratically elected local government councils.
Malami who cited several cases, stated that the common practice by some state governors in dissolving elected local government councils is unconstitutional, null and void. He also stated that any system of local government run by caretaker committees are outrightly illegal and unconstitutional.
It could be recalled that on January 6th 2020 the said chairmen and councilors stormed the 27 LGAs of Imo State to take over the affairs of the Local Government in obedience to the Supreme Court order.
However, the move was resisted by the Interim Management Committee members of the various councils in Imo State.
The IMC chairmen of Rt Hon Ihedioha used all the powers of governance to stop the elected chairmen and councilor.
Senator Hope Uzodinma aide, Hon Barr Enyinnaya Onuegbu from Ngor Okpala LGA reacted that the councilor and chairmen acted unlawfully.
Hope Uzodinma who is now Governor from all indication, will not work with Okorocha’s men despite that they are from the same party.
A visit to Oru West LGA showed that Okorocha chairmen and councilors returned back to office despite all odds.
Hon Chief Udemba and his councilors entered their office and later left for a crucial meeting in Owerrri. Though there were stiff opposition in some other local government areas but the sacked chairmen have claimed that they are back to work with their councilors.
It could be recalled also that 2010 ALGON which was dissolved by Owelle Rochas Okorocha when he came into power as Governor of Imo State is also laying claims as beneficiaries of the impending supreme court judgment.
From all indications, there is confusion everywhere in Imo State now as the Governor of Imo State may not have the space to accommodate all the appointment seekers especially all his supporters.