Defection: Court summons Okorocha, Imo AGF


Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has summoned the Governor of Imo State Owelle Rochas Okorocha and the Attorney General of the state, Chukwuma-machukwu Ume SAN, to appear before it in respect of a suit seeking the governor’s removal from office over his defection to All Progressives Congress, APC.

In the said suit filed through its counsel, Victor Odjemu, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA is praying the court for an order directing the deputy governor of Imo State or Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly or any officer next in line to the position of the governor of Imo, who is a member of the plaintiff (APGA) to be sworn-in as the governor.

The party also prayed the court for an order directing the 2nd defendant, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to the person declared as governor as the prayer above and an order annulling the certificate of return issued to Okorocha (1st defendant) by virtue of his defection to the APC.

However, the suit has been slowed down due to the misunderstanding between counsels over legal representation.

At the last adjournment, the presiding judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed had directed the warring counsels to file and serve written addresses in order to address the court yesterday on who was properly briefed to handle the matter on behalf of the 1st defendant, Governor Okorocha.

But at yesterday’s proceeding, Sunday Olabode on behalf of Theolice Solicitors announced appearance for Okorocha while Niyi Akintola also said he was duly instructed by Governor Okorocha to represent him in the suit.

Olabode said he was asked by the Attorney General of Imo State and Commissioner for Justice Chukwuma-machukwu Ume, SAN in a letter dated January, 2014 to handle the case for the defendants.

On his part, Niyi Akintola  presented to the court a copy of letter from Governor Okorocha instructing him to handle the matter on his behalf.

He told the court that Okorocha said he should represent him because the matter is personal and not the Imo state government that was sued.

Ruling on the issue, Justice Mohammed said, “at the last adjournment, today was meant for the counsels who had announced appearances for the 1st defendant (Okorocha) to address the court, but from what is happening in court today, the issue of legal representation for the 1st defendant is far from being resolved.

“In view of this, I hereby direct that the 1st defendant and the Attorney General of Imo State should appear in the next date of adjournment to clarify on the dispute, the court ordered.

The matter was, therefore, adjourned to July 3 for Governor Okorocha and the AGF of Imo State to appear in court.

Recall that APGA is also a declaration that by virtue of the provisions of Section 177(c) and 221 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and Section 97 of the Electoral 2010 (as amended) and the effect of the Supreme Court decision in Amaechi Vs INEC reported in 2008, 5 NWLR part 108, 227 particularly at page 317-325, the Imo State governorship mandate given at the April 2011 elections remains with the plaintiff (APGA) and the said mandate should be exercised by the deputy governor of Imo State or Speaker of the House of Assembly or any officer next in line to the office of the governor.

Source: http:Paschal Njoku //


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