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Thursday, 19 July 2012


A democracy inclined non-governmental organization- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIAITON OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has applauded the Federal Attorney General and minister of Justice Mr. Bello Mohammed Adoke (SAN) for his timely and rightful intervention to give effect to the enforcement of a subsisting Appeal court Judgment restoring the sacked local council executives in Imo State.
The group also strongly condemned the failure of the Imo State government to comply with the judgment and faulted Governor Rochas Okorocha’s claim that his administration will only comply with a legal decision in the subject matter only if the Supreme Court determines it to its finality. “Governor Okoroacha should go to equity with clean hands by first respecting a binding judgment of a competent court until it is otherwise decided by a higher court of competent jurisdiction in compliance with section 6 of the 1999 constitution as amended”, HURIWA affirmed.
In a statement jointly endorsed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National media officer Miss. Zainab Yusuf, the Non-Governmental group said the directive by the Federal Attorney General and minister of Justice for the immediate enforcement of the Appellate court’s verdict was the best pragmatic way to preserve, promote and protect the respect of the legal principle of the Rule of law and constitutionalism because allowing the Imo State government to flagrantly disrespect a binding judgment of a competent court of law would have amounted to the institutionalization of anarchy and impunity.
HURIWA stated thus; “We are absolutely short of words to appropriately describe the decision of the Imo State governor to openly disrespect a subsisting and legally binding judgment of a competent court of law when as an elected leader he swore to abide by the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We are even more shocked because the current Imo state Governor secured the validation of his electoral victory in the competent court of law when he was assailed by torrents of legal challenges by his political opponents who lost woefully during the 2011 general elections”.
Specifically, the Federal Attorney General and minister of Justice Mr. Bello Mohammed Adoke (SAN) had ordered the reinstatement of the sacked chairmen, who were elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under the administration of former governor Ikedi Ohakim.
The four paragraph press statement read: “The attention of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has been drawn to the lingering controversy that has trailed the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Owerri Judicial Division in Appeal No. CA/OW/215/2011, Enyinna Onuegbu & 26 Others versus Attorney General of Imo State & 3 others dated 5th July 2012, which declared as illegal and unconstitutional, the action of the governor of Imo State, purporting to dissolve the democratically elected local government councils in the state before the expiration of their constitutionally guaranteed tenure”.
HURIWA therefore fully endorsed the action of the law enforcement authority to lawfully enforce the decision of the Court of Appeal, Owerri Division even as it asserted that if Nigeria was properly run as a functional constitutional democracy, the law enforcement operatives do not need to wait for a directive of the nation’s chief law officer to implement a binding decision of a competent court of law which was fully communicated to them by the appropriate court officials.   


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