Drama as court stops swearing-in of Imo deputy governor

Drama as court stops swearing-in of Imo deputy governor
July 31 15:56 2018

By Nasir Kura

An Imo state High Court sitting in Owerri has stopped the swearing-in of ceremony of the deputy governor-designate, Callistus Ekenze.

This caused some drama and confusion at the state Government House on Tuesday.

After waiting for four hours for the swearing-in of the deputy governor -designate following the impeachment of the former deputy governor, Eze Madumere, on Monday by the state House of Assembly, guests, government functionaries, including Governor Rochas Okorocha, were visibly disappointed as the court ordered the state Chief Judge not to proceed with the swearing-in ceremony.

While guests, especially the deputy governor-designate and his family members were waiting for the CJ to commence the administering of the oath of office, the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state, Militus Nlemadium, broke what became a bad news to the audience in the Sam Mbakwe hall.

Nlemadium told the audience that there was a court order made by Owerri High Court on Tuesday morning stopping the CJ from swearing-in the deputy governor-designate.

The CJ told the governor that he would not swear in the deputy governor-designate as long as there was a court order restraining him from doing so.

The CJ told the governor that it would be wrong for him to be seen to be disobeying a court order, considering his position as the chief judge of the state.

He therefore mandated the governor to vacate the order if he must swear in Ekenze as the new deputy governor.

The attorney general told the guests not to despair, assuring them that the government had filed all legal process to set aside the court order.

He expressed optimism that the order would be vacated on Tuesday and that the deputy governor would be sworn in same day (today) .

The interim order stopping the swearing-in ceremony was sequel to a suit instituted by the impeached deputy governor on Tuesday morning, challenging his impeachment by the state legislature.