Following repeated mindless destruction of opposition political parties campaign billboards and advertisement materials,embarked upon by agents of Imo State government under governor Hope Uzodinma,the flag bearers of the African Action Congress AAC, have challenged the recklessness and excesses of the accused in court.
This is while other victims of the demolition exercise and restrictions imposed by the Imo State government either resorted to self help or sulked home to lick their wounds in perpetual frustration and despondency.The legal action is seguel to the recent imposition of fifty four million Naira on opposition and demand from political parties as signage and advertising fees.
Aggrieved at the turn of events which has affected it’s fortunes and desired prospects of winning the November 11 Governorship election in Imo State,by this singular deliberate action African Action Congress AAC resorted to Owerri divisional high court, to seek redress,over the injustice and injurious state policy.
In it’s prayers, African Action Congress AAC,in the motion on notice is demanding an interlocutory injunction order restraining Imo State government,and it’s agency, Imo State signage and advertising, from enforcing what they refer to as outrageous and exorbitant tarrif aimed at stifling and shutting out the opposition parties from actively participating in the fast approaching November 11 Governorship election.
The writ of summons already served on the defendants, in suit no.HOW,948,2023 with Emmanuel Ifeanyi Awulonu and Barr.Michael Obilor Korie, as plaintiffs,stating that the motion on notice was brought pursuant to order38 Rule 8 of the Imo State High Court,civil procedure,Rules 20l7 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the Honourable court.
The plaintiffs further pray the court to restrain the respondent including the Attorney general and Commissioner for justice,C.O.C Akaolisa, either by themselves,and or through their agents, servants,officers, howsoever, from operating, demanding and or enforcing the operation fee of N54m as permit fee, for political advertisement and signage displays in Imo State and it’s environs, pursuant to the schedule of rates,or terms for political advertisement and ancillary signage displays in Imo State for the gubernatorial campaigns 2023 of l,4,2023, from the plaintiffs,applicants pending the final determination of the substantive suit.
The plaintiffs,Applicants are also praying the court for a declaration that N54million be deemed unlawful, unconstitutional,null and void and that it violates the express provisions of schedule 5,2,l, of the Imo State signage and advertisement, establishment,law no.36, of 20l9 and articles of the African charter on humans and people s rights Act 20l0
Imo African Action Congress AAC,in the motion which writ of summons has been duly served on the defendants,seeks a further declaration that the demand for the sum of N54 million by the defendants from the plaintiffs as registration fee or rates,for it’s political campaign signage and advertisement in Imo State is not only outrageous, irresponsibly reckless and destabilizing,but unlawful and with sinister motives and should therefore be rejected.
In an affidavit of urgency sworn to by John obasi which he deposed with the consent of the plaintiffs who in this instant, are Emmanuel Ifeanyi Awulonu and Michael Korie also Governorship and deputy Governorship Candidates of the Imo State chapter of the African Action Congress AAC,posited that the party cannot commence public campaign for the firth coming gubernatorial election because of the draconian and self serving schedule of rates which has made it eternally impossible for them to access a fair and favourable or safe atmosphere and level playing ground to ventilate their political ambitions
Before this line of action was resorted to by the governorship Candidates of the African Action Congress AAC ,other political parties whose campaign billboards and posters,branded vehicles were either impounded or destroyed,went home to lick their wounds following speculations that the are working in tandem and same page with the ruling APC government whose Candidate for the November 11 Governorship election, distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma,has since bought them over or compromised them
However true to his promises that the election must be devoid of all forms of manipulation and irregularities or violence free, Emmanuel Ifeanyi Awulonu decided to seek the intervention of the courts as the last hope of the common man.In doing so he has reiterated his willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to liberate ndimo from fear, doldrums and fascist rudderless and non compromising leadership that brooks no opposition.