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Monday, 28 November 2016

NBA CHAIRMAN BERATES OKOROCHA FOR DESTROYING IHEANACHO'S PROPERTY AGAIN ...Says Action 'An Act of Vendetta'

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The chairman of Nigerian Bar Association(NBA), Owerri branch, Barr. Lawrence Nwakaeti, has carpeted Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha of Imo state for destroying the property belonging to the former minister of Interior, Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho for the second time under the guise of urban renewal project embarked upon by his government in Owerri capital city.

Nwakaeti, who stated in an interview, described the act as 'petty' adding that such action has proven that Okorocha is on vendetta mission against the former minister and business tycoon who also contested the governorship during the last general elections.

He said: "I wouldn’t hold brief for Iheanacho; but I was meant to believe that he went to court to stop government from demolishing his property. The argument of the government is that the order was not served on them as at the time they demolished the property. But after demolishing, while going petty? The man wanted to brace-up his house so that he can access his house, and you send your boys to go and destroy it as if you are mobilising thugs to harass people. People now see it as if the governor is settling political scores considering the fact that the man contested against him in the last governorship election.

"There are certain things as a leader you forgo, he’s not challenging or saying he’s the governor of Imo state. The election has come and gone and the governor should play the role of a father. It is not fair to go back and destroy that fence for the second time. What I understand he wanted to do was to brace-up, raise the front so that he can access his house. That was an act of vendetta and it should not have come from somebody as highly placed as the governor".

While condemning the growing impunity, lawlessness and disregard to rule of law as exhibited by Gov. Okorocha, the NBA boss warned that the governor's behaviour if not checkmated may trigger off crisis capable of degenerating to state of emergency in the state.

"It’s not only that the governor does not obey court orders, he does not obey institutions and rule of law. He has no respect for due process. The other time he woke up in the morning and dissolved Imo State Judicial Commission. This is a body set up pursuant to Section 199 of the 1999 Constitution and the tenure of office of the Judicial Service Commission members is five years. And the current members who are purportedly dissolved came into office sometime in March 2014. So by simple arithmetic they should be in office till sometime 2019 but the governor woke up one morning and dissolved them.

"The constitution clearly spelt out reasons and situations that warrants removal of office of members of Judicial Service Commission. One of them is misconduct, or when it is established that there is infirmity of mind or body of the person and you must established these facts. For you to say somebody is infirm mentally or bodily, there must be a medical certification to that effect. For you to establish that somebody is guilty of a conduct, it must be a fact a committee of enquiry has been set up and that person has been indicted. When you don’t do any of these things and you wake up one morning decree out of existence a body that was set up by law, NBA will say no. We have called on him to rescind the decision in the interest of peace, democracy and rule of law. We will make sure that the government of the state reverses to the status the quo" he said.

On the the governor's touted urban renewal project under the guise many buildings have been demolished in Owerri capital city without prior consent and compensation to the owners, Nwaketi posited that the governor simply misplaced his priority especially in the face of the present economic recession.

"What is happening in Imo State is not Okorocha’s making in terms of financial status of Imo State. Generally, there is recession and I think where Imo State is affected adversely is the area that this government does not plan, does not manage the meagre resources very well. And as a result the poor people, the civil servants are receiving the full blow of the recession which shouldn’t have been.

Something should have been on the ground to cushion the effect on the civil servants, who are the most vulnerable. But because of wasteful spending, like what we call expansion of road, is not necessary.  The people that will enjoy this road must be alive to enjoy it. A civil servant that cannot feed his family, that cannot pay his rent, you cannot expect him to enjoy that road.
The money used in expanding already double lane roads should have been used to pay civil servants" the lawyer posited.

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