27 Imo LG chairmen ‘re seeking for tenure elongation – Okorocha
Global Reporters Vienna
BY Henry Umoru
ABUJA—IMO State Governor, Rochas Okorocha disclosed yesterday that the twenty-seven Local Government Area Chairmen whose tenure expire today, went to court as part of moves to perpetuate their stay in office having been sworn in August 9, 2010.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja, yesterday, the governor noted that with the declaration of the Court of Appeal, the tenure of the 27 council chairmen in the state is democratically guaranteed in view of their inauguration on August 9 2010.
According to him, “their grouse by going to court is that they want tenure elongation, they want their tenure extended. Their prayer in the case abinitio was that they should be given their two years guarantee which expires August 8, 2012 but they want tenure extension for one reason, that within the period they were not in office because of dissolution, they want to recover it back and they got an experte now stopping the governor from dissolving what has dissolved itself.
“It is something that requires a serious legal mind to look at whether what has stood dissolved can be re-accepted or can be extended or whether I have the power to extend it or dissolve it. I cannot dissolve what the law has dissolved.”
When asked if he had sought any legal opinion on the matter, Okorocha said, “Yes, every legal opinion suggested that once a tenure is expired, it is expired, it cannot be changed, while accusing them of causing trouble.
“You can see these people want to create problem and whoever is sponsoring them should desist because it will take them nowhere. The State House of Assembly have said that their tenure expired on August 9, being today. So, if their tenure expired on August 8, you cannot go into another person’s tenure.”
“It is a law gazetted. But you can see now, they are using all kinds of media campaign trying to portray the governor as somebody who is not obeying court order. I have gone beyond obeying court order to stupidity. One, I have an appeal in the Supreme Court of a stay of execution, that is still pending, it is supposed to be heard in the month of September this year”.
It will be recalled that the 27 council chairmen in Imo state had obtained an exparte motion from the Court seeking the following relief and the court granted same when it declared, “It is hereby declared that by virtue of the provisions of section 23 (1) of the Local Government Administration Law No 15 of 2000 (as amended), the appellants have a guaranteed tenure of office as democratically elected chairmen commencing from the date of inauguration on August 9 2010.
“It is still hereby declared that the appellants are still the democratically elected chairmen of their respective local government councils until their tenure expires”.