A major shake up on the control of the local government administration was witnessed in Imo State on Wednesday when the Federal High Court in Owerri sacked the Interim Management Committee of the LGA and declared their stay illegal.
Following the suspension of the council chairmen and councilors elected during the tenure of Owelle Rochas Okorocha by the shortlived Emeka Ihedioha administration, the affected officials went to court to seek redress.
Trumpeta recalls that during the change of guard in Government House, Owerri, when the Supreme Court removed Ihedioha for Uzodinma, the incumbent removed the IMC chairmen appointed by the PDP candidate and later appointed his own team.
In its ruling, the court declared the IMC as illegal and unconstitutional stating that the governor should seize to disburse LGA fund to the IMC.
The ruling further states that the 27 IMC chairmen should vacate their offices immediately to give to the elected chairmen.
It declared that it was unlawful to sack the elected chairmen and councilors from office.
The court ruled that the sacked IMC were more of governor’s aides and should not receive LGA funds. Delivering judgment that lasted two hours, Justice Ringim said governor lacks powers to dissolve democratically elected chairmen thereby ordering the plaintiffs back to office as those there were declared “ghosts”.