*BY: RALPH EJIMKONYE*
Sacked Councillors in Imo State have stated that they went to Court to challenge their ouster because they were duly elected and should not be replaced with Transition Commitee members until 26th August, 2021.
Governor Emeka Ihedioha had last week sacked Council Chairmen and Councillors in the State anchoring his reasons based on the recommendation of the Imo State House of Assembly.
His predecessor, Rochas Okorocha had unilaterally sacked Council Chairmen and Councillors in June 2011.
He was ordered by the Courts to reverse the sack. He never did till he left office on May 29,2019
The angry Councillors said they are opposing their sack dragging the State Governor, Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly and Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General to the Federal High Court.
The dissolved Councillors in their matter with suit No: FHC/CS/ 75/ 2019, they sought for an order of injunction restraining the defendants by themselves, their agents, servants or anybody acting on their behalf from terminating, removing , suspending or abridging their tenure as duly elected Councillors of the 27 LGA in Imo state which they argued will elapse on 26th of August 2021 or in any way replacing them with Transition Committee Members.
The Councillors also sought for declaration that the purported suspension or dissolution on the 3rd of June 2019 by the 5th and 6th defendants is unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void and of no legal consequence.
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They further sought for in their suit for a declaration that the defendants lack the legal competence or capacity to suspend, terminate or dissolve them considering that they were duly elected and properly certificated by Imo State Independent Electoral Commission ISIEC .
Briefing journalists in Owerri, the leader of all the legislative leaders in the State, Rt Hon. Godwin Nwankwo pointed out that they are going to resist the recent illegality stressing that they were duly elected and properly certificated by ISIEC.
Nwankwo argued that they were illegally suspended by a non formal constituted Chinedu Ofor House members without any complainant, noting that the people involved have been duly and properly served with the originating summons but they went ahead with the illegality.
According to Hon. Nwankwo,” It is now unconstitutional in Nigeria for any governor or House of Assembly to dissolve or suspend duly elected Council executives.
We are going to seriously oppose this illegality at any level. We are going to fight it out with our last drops of blood”.
” We don’t expect law makers to be lawbreakers when it concerns them and we wish to tell Imo people that this illegality can never survive.
“This is a decided case at the Supreme Court, so the Governor lacks the constitutional powers to dissolve us unjustly. We are going to comport and conduct ourselves in a civil manner to fight this recent illegality and we will must oppose this action to the last.”
Rt Hon Nwankwo who called on governor Emeka Ihedioha who he described as a seasoned federal Lawmaker , not to be part of the process to destroy the same law he made, adding that the purported dissolution can never be tolerated in 2019 as they will contest it legally.
” Though, we were elected on the platform of All Progressives Congress APC but what we are asking is that we should be allowed to serve out our tenure because we were duly elected.” He stated .