Ibe Nwoko, a former chairman of Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State, has described the process of his removal from office as illegal.
Mr Nwoko said this on Tuesday while reacting to his removal on Monday by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
Addressing reporters in his Umuagwula country home on the development, he said his sack was “an indication that illegality is becoming the norm in Abia”.
Mr Ikpeazu removed Mr Nwoko from office and replaced him with his former deputy, Uloma Nwogu.
The governor hinged his action on Mr Nwoko’s defection from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the Young Progressives Party (YPP), which offered him the ticket to run for Osisioma/Ugwunagbo/Obingwa Federal Constituency seat in 2023.
The governor said: “I received a letter dated May 23, entitled: ‘Resignation of my party membership’ by Nwoko.
“In consonance with the Laws guiding Local Governments in Abia, the consequence of the letter is that he has breached the provisions of Section 23 (1) of the Local Government Law of 2006.
“This makes it imperative that a new chairman would be sworn in to take over the reign of power at that level as the former chairman had decided to pursue his political career on another platform.”
But Mr Nwoko, in his reaction, argued that the process through which his deputy was sworn in could best be described as “dishonest”.
He said: “I am not surprised over the swearing-in of my deputy because illegality has become the order of the day in the state.
“How can you sit in your office and say that you have removed an elected chairman of a Local Government Council without completing the constitutional process?
“If I have left the party that produced me, there is a process to follow in removing me. So, this is not a situation of just swearing in the deputy to take over.
“All these things are illegalities.”
Mr Nwoko said there was no impeachment notice by the Obingwa Legislative Council because of the subsisting court injunction restraining the councillors from impeaching him without following due process.
He said he was waiting for legal advice from his legal team on the development.
“That would inform my next line of action,” the embattled former council chairman said.
He said his decision to defect to YPP was informed by his desire to serve and deliver quality leadership to the people in a higher position.
“For the past few months, everyone in Abia is aware about the situation and condition of PDP, which is going down daily.
“The way things are going, if we don’t stand up and take the bull by the horn, a lot of things will go wrong.
“So, we are in good faith and we are concentrating on the task ahead to win the election in 2023,” Mr Nwoko said.
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