Drama In Imo As Court Stops Swearing-In Of New Deputy Gov

A High Court in Owerri today stopped the swearing-in of Head of Civil Service, Callistus Ekenze, as Deputy Governor of the state.

The Imo House of Assembly on Monday impeached the Deputy Governor Eze Madumere despite a court order stopping the process.

But today, the court made another ruling stopping the swearing-in of Madumere’s successor.

The Attorney General and Commissioner For Justice for the state, Barr. Miletus Nlemedim, conveyed the latest order to Governor Rochas Okorocha and hence the cancellation of the swearing-in of Ekenze as Deputy governor by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Pascal Nnadi.

Nlemedim also informed the crowd gathered to witness the ceremony and halted it.

Madumere had succeeded in securing an interim injunction, restraining the swearing in of Ekenze.

The state High Court on Monday gave an order stopping the state House of Assembly from continuing the impeachment of Madumere.

Justice Iheka of the state high court gave the order following an application by the counsel to the deputy governor, Ken Njemanze (SAN) in which he informed the court that his client had requested the court to stop the impeachment process.

A panel of inquiry was set up by the chief judge to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct levelled against Madumere by the state House of Assembly.

Justice Iheka therefore ordered the state House of Assembly and the state’s Attorney General to maintain status quo pending the decision of the court.

The case has been adjourned till August 13.

A panel of inquiry was earlier set up by the chief judge of the state Justice Pascal Nnadi to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct  levelled against the Madumere, as deputy governor,  by the state House of Assembly. The panel indicted Madumere.

Meanwhile,  Gov. Rochas Okorocha  said his government would fully comply with the latest court order.

Okorocha made this known in a statement from his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Sam Onwuemeodo.

“The governor had insisted that the interim Order be obeyed not minding some issues raised by senior lawyers in the government against the Order.

“He insisted that his administration must continue to obey valid Court Orders served on the government or agents of the government,” the statement said.

Onwuemeodo noted that 19 members of the state House of Assembly, on Monday, impeached the former Deputy Governor, Mr Eze Madumere following the submission last Friday, of the report of the Panel that investigated the accusations against him.

He  said that the deputy-governor had on July 5, got an order against the impeachment process, by the state High Court.

According to the statement, the Order was however vacated and described as a “nullity” by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja presided over by Justice O.A Musa on July 16.

The governor, the statement noted urged all Imo people and the parties in the matter to remain law-abiding and allow the law to take its course