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Court restrains suspended officials from invading Imo council offices

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• APC distances self from invasion

The state High Court sitting in Owerri has issued an interim order restraining the suspended Local Council officials from further invading the council headquarters, insisting that any further attempt would amount to contempt of court.

Justice Fred Njamanze, while issuing the order, maintained that it was an affront on the sanctity and dignity of the court for any party in a suit to resort to self-help on a matter that is still pending in the court and ordered the concerned persons to appear before it on January 28, 2020 to give reasons for their action.

Njamanze said that the court would not take it lightly with any person caught in the act of disobeying the court order, stressing that until judgment is served on the matter with suit No. HOW/613/2019, “the status quo should remain.”

The interim order followed the prayers made by the state government counsel, led by the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Ndukwe Nnawuchi (SAN), who described the invasion as criminal, illegal and an affront on the legal authority of the land.Nnawuchi said that any attempt to take over the government with brute force amounts to treasonable felony and the perpetrators must be made to face the full weight of the law.

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Imo State Chapter, led by Marcon Nlemigbo, said that the party was not part and in support of the invasion of the council headquarters by the suspended council executives.It described the act as unlawful and uncalled for.

Nlemigbo and the party’s Publicity Secretary, Enyinna Onuegbu, who spoke with newsmen at a press conference yesterday, said the perpetrators were neither members of the party nor got the consent of the party before embarking on the “sad incident.”Onuegbu said: “Yesterday in Imo, there was almost a total breakdown of law and order. And we all witnessed in most of the 27 local councils of Imo State a kind of lawlessness never before seen in this state. The reportage of that sad incident indicates that a group who styled themselves as elected local council administrators of 2018 under the immediate past administration of Rochas Okorocha attempted to physically occupy the premises of the various local council headquarters in Imo State.

“Unfortunately, because these persons claimed to have been elected under the platform of All Progressives Congress in 2018, the media have been awash with the stories describing them as APC-elected local council executives.

“The subject of this press conference is to correct that erroneous impression that APC, Imo State Chapter and indeed our national leadership, has anything to do with that rascality. Imo State APC was never at any time consulted, informed or carried along or supported the event or incident of yesterday that unfortunately led to a loss of life in Isu Local Council. We are totally embarrassed by the description that those persons are of APC.”

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