There was pandemonium in the 27 local government areas of Imo State today following a purported Supreme Court judgement reinstating the All Progressives Congress (APC) council chairmen and councillors sacked by Governor Emeka Ihedioha when he assumed office.
Our correspondent who went round some of the troubled councils reports that the sitting People’s Democratic Party (PDP)chairmen resisted the forceful surge of the sacked APC chairmen and councillors who came with their party supporters brandishing their flags, t–shirts in a bid to take over.
In Owerri West council the Transition Committee Chairman, Innocent Ekenma told our correspondent that the APC sacked chairmen and their supporters were stopped 200metres away from the secretariat before they could even gain access into the council.
“We resisted them; they did not even progress beyond the market square; every where is calm now and I am in charge; whoever told you that they beat us is telling lies,” Ekenma said.
The situation was similar in Owerri North council. The incumbent chairman, Solomon Onwuegbuchulam also prevented the APC sacked chairman and councillors with over 500 supporters from coming close to the gate of the council.
Orlu, Nwangele, Orsu, Ehime-Mbano, Isiala-Mbano, Ahiazu Mbaise, Oru East , Oru West and Ohaji/Egbema also had similar situations except Aboh Mbaise were the APC chairman, Chidi Nwaturuocha who earlier successfully gained entrance into the council with his councillor and supporters, was allegedly manhandled by the police.
He was said to have been teargassed and beaten by the police. His councillor, Jasper Nwachukwu was also said to have been wounded in the head when a police officer used the butt of his gun on him.
Also, at Njaba, there was a palpable tension as the scenario degenerated into a free-for-all-fight between APC supporters and PDP supporters. Properties were vandalised and windscreens of vehicles destroyed by the riotous crowd.
However, when contacted, the state Police Public Relation Officer, Orlando Ikokwu, said the police were on ground to avert an impending breach of peace of the state.
He also claimed that the APC chairmen who were coming for reinstatement could not produce a valid Supreme Court judgement they claimed gave them the power to occupy their former positions.
Orlando, however, alleged that the sacked chairmen were relying on Ekiti State judgement which according to him though similar but should never be used as yardstick.
“We were there to ensure security of lives and properties; the ousted council chairmen said they had the Supreme Court judgment. To the best of the knowledge of the command, there is no Supreme Court judgement as such,” Orlando claimed.
“The norm or the ethics is the bailiff would have to serve you with a court order but they don’t have it.
“However, the judgement that they are referring to is that of Ekiti State; there is no way you can import another judgement from another state even though they are similar so there is no order directing them to takeover,” Orlando explained.
Meanwhile, a supervisor from Umundugba in lsu LGA, Ahamefule Maduabuchi has been shot dead.
There was confusion over who killed the victim. While some alleged he was killed by the police, some claimed that it he was shot by a party PDP.
Orlando also confirmed the killing of the Supervisor, but added that “the details leading to his death is sketchy. But I think it had to do with a clash by both sides (parties), but the Commissioner of Police has ordered a full scale investigation into the matter to ascertain who killed him.”