Imo LG election: Crisis looms, as Okorocha, ex ISEC boss out of court seltlement fails …Cour to rule, June 21

The National Industrial Court sitting in Owerri has adjourned to June 21, 2018 for judgment in the suit brought before it by a former speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Amaechi Nwoha challenging what he called his purported removal from office as chairman of Imo State Independent Electoral commission, ISIEC.
During Monday’s hearing on the matter, counsel to Nwoha and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Barr. Ken Njemanze submitted that the defendants (Imo State Governor and others) had admitted in their affidavits that his client (Nwoha) was duely appointed ISIEC chairman.
Citing Section 199 of the 1999 Constitution as Amended, Barr. Njemanze noted that the tenure of office of an ISIEC chairman is secure adding that any valid removal of his client as chairman of the commission must comply with Section 201 of the 1999 constitution as Amended. He therefore urged the court to declare that his client (Nwoha) was still in office as ISIEC chairman and grant his client all his entitlement as of a sitting ISIEC chairman.
However, counsel Governor Rochas Okorocha, and the attorney general of Imo State, who also an assistant director in the Ministry of Justice Imo State, J.C. Ibe urged the court not to grant the reliefs sought by Rt. Hon. Nwoha submitting that the issue was not whether the claimant (Nwoha) was sworn in as chairman of the commission, but that the letter of appointment he presented did not stipulate the conditions for which the claimant was seeking reliefs.
In his own submission, counsel to the 3rd- 9th defendants, O.C. Olumba urged the court to strike out his clients’ name from the suit as according to him, they neither employed or pay the claimant.
The presiding judge, after listening to arguments of both parties adjourned the matter June 21, for judgment.
In a chat with Barr. Njemanze, after hearing on the matter, the legal practitioners said they had just asked the court quash the removal of client, Rt. Hon. Amaechi as ISIEC chairman because according to him, the state government did not follow constitutional procedure.
On the issue of out of court settlement which the court granted the Imo State government about two weeks ago to enable it settle with his client, Barr. Njemanze said the government was not serious with that dismissing it as mere delay tactics.
Meanwhile, there are fears that the failure of the Imo State government to settle out of court as granted by the court two weeks ago could affect the scheduled July 14, 2018 local government elections as the eligibility of the chairman of the commission was still in contest as Nwoha has rejected his removal as chairman.

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