Edo APC, PDP Disagree on Court Order Reinstating Council Chairman

Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday faulted the decision of the Edo State Government not to comply with a court order that reinstated the suspended Chairman of the Etsako East Local Government Area, Mr. Aremiyau Momoh.

In its reaction, however, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) defended the failure of the state government to comply with the judgement of an Edo State High Court on the ground that it planned to challenge it.

In separate statements yesterday, the two parties openly disagreed over the compliance with the court order that reinstated the council chairman.

At the height of politicking that preceded the 2020 governorship election in the state, the council chairman was suspended for alleged corrupt practices in September 2019.

Consequently, the council chairman approached an Edo State High Court to challenge the decision of the Godwin Obaseki administration that suspended him.

In a judgement, Justice Daniel Okungbowa had declared as illegal, null and void the suspension of the council chairman by the state government.

About a fortnight after the court decision, the state government had not complied, a development that sparked the ire of the APC.

In a letter to the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo yesterday, the APC accused Obaseki of obstructing the execution of the court order, which it argued was declarative.

The letter by the Caretaker Chairman of Edo APC, Col. David Imuse and its Secretary, Mr. Lawrence Okah read in part: “Take notice that the said judgment is a declarative one which no higher court has held otherwise for now.

“While counting on your proactive response in enforcing this judgment, please accept the assurance of our warm regard. Attached herewith is the certified true copy of the judgment.”

Imuse had, in a separate interview, claimed that Edo “has a governor who does not respect the judicial and legislative arms of government or the rule of law although he regularly runs to the courts on the most frivolous of excuses”.

In a counter statement, however, the Chairman of PDP, Dr. Anthony Aziegbemi, said the government had already appealed the ruling.

Azegbiemi’s reaction was contained in a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chris Nehikhare.

He said: “As for the complaint about the situation in the Etsako East Local Government Area, the state government is exercising its constitutional right for an appeal and has, along that line, filed for an appeal.

“It has also filed for a stay of execution on that judgment. Thus, the status quo remains and only the court can make a pronouncement on the matter and not the APC,” Edo PDP noted.

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