Edo APC, PDP Differ over Reinstatement of Council Chairman

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Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city

Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the state All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday engaged in war of words over compliance by the state government with a court ruling reinstating the suspended Chairman of the Etsako East Local Government Area, Hon Aremiyau Momoh, by the state High Court.

Justice Daniel Okungbowa of the state High Court had in a judgment delivered last week, declared as illegal, null and void the suspension of the council chairman by the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki.

In a letter written by the state Caretaker Committee of APC and signed by its Chairman and Secretary, Col. David Imuse and Lawrence Okah respectively, to the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo, APC accused the state governor of allegedly obstructing the implementation of the court judgment, which they said is declarative.

Part of the letter read: “Take note that the said judgment is a declarative one, which no higher court has held otherwise for now.

“While we count 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 also alleged in an interview that “Edo State has a governor who does not have one iota of respect for 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.”

Reacting to the development, however, the state Chairman of PDP, Dr. Anthony Aziegbemi, said the state government had already appealed the ruling to a higher court.

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

According to him, “As for the complaint about the situation in Etsako East LGA, 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. Therefore, the status quo remains, and only the court can make a pronouncement on the matter and not the APC.”