Amby Uneze in Owerri
The Federal High Court in Owerri, Imo State capital, has ordered reinstatement of chairmen and councillors of the 27 local government councils in the state.
The elected council officials were suspended by former Governor Emeka Ihedioha in June 2019.
In November 2019, the chairmen took the Federal Accounts Allocations Committee (FAAC), Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Attorney General of Imo State, Governor of Imo State and 27 others to the court with a view to stopping the monthly allocations from coming to the local government areas pending when they resume offices.
When the Supreme Court sacked Ihedioha, Governor Hope Uzodimma, also refused to allow them return to office, insisting that the conduct of that election was illegal and did not follow the local government laws.
But delivering judgment yesterday, Justice Tijjani Garba Ringim, held that the dissolution of the council officials was very wrong and ordered Imo State government to reinstate the sacked officials “immediately”.
The judge, in the suit, FHC/OW/CS/136/2019, also held that any of the affected local government area without elected officials should not be funded with the federal allocation.
Justice Ringim insisted the governor had no right to “dissolve local government officials elected by the people.”