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Police ban planned protests, rallies in Imo over Supreme Court’s judgement

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The Imo State Police Command yesterday banned all protests and rallies relating to Supreme Court’s verdict on the Imo State gubernatorial election in which it removed Emeka Ihedioha as governor.

This followed the increasing level of protests and rallies over the January 14, 2020 judgment that sacked Ihedioha and pronounced Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governor.

In a statement issued by the state’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Orlando Godson Ikeokwu, police authorities expressed misgivings over the development, warning that offenders would be prosecuted.

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“It has come to the notice of the Imo State Police Command that some hoodlums are planning to hide under the protests and rallies as witnessed in the last few weeks to cause mayhem in the state.

“In view of the above, therefore, the command wishes to inform the general public that all protests and rallies are hereby banned forthwith, especially as they affect the Supreme Court ruling of January 14, 2020.

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“Also, it is important to note that since the Supreme Court has acknowledged an application for the review of the judgment and fixed a date for the review, thus rendering the matter subjudice.

It is, therefore, pertinent that both parties should remain calm pending the outcome of the review.

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The command explained that its action was to ensure that such protests and rallies are not hijacked and used to cause chaos, anarchy or breach of public peace.

It advised members of the public to go about their lawful businesses, assuring that it would protect the lives and property of Imo people.

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Meanwhile, the World Igbo Congress (WIC), an umbrella organisation of the Igbo in the Diaspora, has supported the move by the Supreme Court to review its ruling on the Imo State governorship election.

It’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Basil Onwukwe, said the move was a welcomed development, especially given the fact that the judgment “ridiculously impacted on how advanced democracies now view Nigeria.

“The World Igbo Congress believes that this presents the Supreme Court justices another opportunity to redeem the image of the judiciary in the country and the international community.”

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It, however, urged calm among Imo people and all Igbo in the country and in the Diaspora, adding, “We urge all parties and members of the public to remain calm and save our homeland from mayhem.

“Igbo Congress and all Igbo peace-loving people expect nothing but justice, because in the words of Thomas Jefferson when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.”

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