The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mohammed Adoke, has called on the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, to respect the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Owerri division, which reinstated all the council chairmen and councilors sacked by the governor on his assumption of office.
Mr. Adoke, in a press statement, Tuesday, in Abuja, said his attention has “been drawn to the lingering controversy that has trailed the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Owerri Judicial Division in Appeal No. CA/OW/215/2011,…, which declared as illegal and unconstitutional the action of the Governor of Imo State, purporting to dissolve the democratically elected Local Government Councils in the State before the expiration of their constitutionally guaranteed tenure.”
The AGF said section 7 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guarantees the existence of a system of democratically elected local government councils throughout the federation and that the judgment of the Court of Appeal only confirmed this position.
He requested Mr. Okorocha to “respect the judgment of the Court of Appeal and give due regard to the provisions of the Constitution which all elected officials of government have sworn to uphold;” adding that “this will not only inspire confidence in the polity but will also deepen our fledgling democracy.”
Mr. Adoke also urged the Imo state government and its agencies to uphold the Court of Appeal’s judgment.
Mr. Okorocha had on assumption of office, announced the sack of all local government chairmen and councillors in the state.
The council chairmen challenged their removal at the state high court, and the chief Judge of the state, Benjamin Njemanze, agreed with them; asserting that the governor lacked the constitutional power to remove them.
The court of Appeal, Owerri division also upheld the decision of the state High Court.