Police warn reinstated Imo council chiefs against resumption
The police in Imo State have warned the 27 council chairmen and councillors reinstated recently by the Federal High Court, Owerri, against resuming duties or embarking on any protest.
In a statement on Sunday, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, a Superintendent of Police, reminded the council chiefs that an Appeal Court had granted “a stay of execution and status quo” on the matter, urging them to obey the order.
The statement read in part: “It has come to the notice of the Imo State Police Command that the ousted Local Government chairmen and their supporters are planning to forcefully take over office simultaneously on July 13, 2020. This is sequel to the claim that the
Federal High Court ruling is in their favour. The appeal and stay of execution to that ruling have been received by the office of the Commissioner of Police Imo State. On July 9, 2020, the Appeal Court ordered the parties involved to maintain the status quo.
“The command therefore wishes to warn those trying to cause problems to desist from any act that is capable of leading to breakdown of law and order as the command will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute anyone taking laws into their own hands.
“The command is fully aware of the court judgement directing them to return to office, and also the stay of execution and status quo obtained by the Interim Management Committee.
“ To this end the command wish to warn both parties to maintain the status quo as directed by the court until a final judgement is pronounced.”
Ikeokwu advised the council chiefs not to carry out their plan.
He said, “The command wishes to state clearly that it will be ready to enforce and ensure the execution and compliance of the judgement as soon as all legal processes are exhausted and verdict received.”
He reminded the council chiefs of the restrictions on public gatherings to contain the spread of coronavirus in the state, insisting that the ban on all forms of gathering/assembly was still in place.
The Federal High Court had declared the Interim Management Committee set up by Governor Hope Uzodinma, illegal.
The court also ordered that no allocation should be given them until the sacked council bosses were reinstated.
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