- Calls AK47-weilding herdsmen criminals
George Onyejiuwa and Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has floored the All Progressives Congress (APC) Stakeholders Forum, otherwise known as Imo Coalition, after a Federal High Court sitting in Owerri, yesterday, nullified the recent wards and local government area selection in the State.
The presiding judge, Justice Lewis Allagoa, in a judgment that lasted for one hour, ordered APC to conduct fresh elections in accordance with the party guidelines, maintaining that election never held in the first place.
“They should go back and conduct fresh congresses in accordance with the constitutions of the party; they should be responsible and save our democracy,” the judge said.
Allagoa, in his ruling, observed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in its report attached as exhibit by the Plaintiffs, maintained that the election did not hold in the state.
He dismissed the argument of counsel to the defendants that the plaintiffs lacked the locus standi to challenge the conduct of the ward congresses in the state.
The justice ruled that the plaintiffs, having established the fact that they are members of the party, and ward chairmen have the locus standi to challenge the outcome of the ward congresses.
Justice Allagoa also dismissed the argument by counsel to the second and eight defendant, Kelvin Nwufor (SAN), that the plaintiffs did not get leave of court to serve the defendants outside the jurisdiction of the court, stating that the Federal High has one jurisdiction.
He, therefore, granted the plaintiffs’ prayers that the court declare as null and void, results purported to have emanated from APC ward congress in the state, as the congress never held across the state.
The plaintiffs, who are APC ward chairmen in the originating summon in the suit with Suit No FHC/OW/ CS/69/2018, had prayed the court, among other reliefs, to issue an order of injunction, restraining the defendants by themselves, agents or privies, from announcing or declaring or making reference to non existing results of the ward congress, purportedly claimed to have been released by them as results of the inconclusive ward congress.”
The defendants in the suit include the immediate past APC National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso, the State Chairman of the party, Chief Hilary Eke, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and others.
Meanwhile, Okorocha has hailed the Federal High Court Judgment. The governor remarked that the judgment of the court has vindicated his earlier claim that the congresses did not hold in the state with a lot of proofs.
In another development, Governor Okorocha has declared Fulani herdsmen with AK-47 assault rifle as criminals and should be treated as such.
He said the killings being perpetrated by such people has smeared the image of the real Fulani herdsmen, who are honestly carrying on with their cattle herding.
This was just as the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, said the Police High Command has launched a high powered investigation into the killings in Plateau, Taraba, Benue and other places, assuring that the perpetrators must be brought to book.