In a stinging rebuke to Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, the Federal High Court in the Imo state capital, Owerri, yesterday ordered the immediate reinstatement of chairmen and councilors of the 27 local government councils in the state.
Delivering judgment yesterday, Justice Tijani Garba Ringim said the governor had no right to “dissolve local government councils elected by the people.” Justice Ringim held that the dissolution of the councils was wrong and ordered Imo State government to reinstate the sacked officials “immediately.”
The elected council officials were suspended by former Governor Emeka Ihedioha in June 2019. In November 2019, the chairmen dragged 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 Uzodinma, also refused to allow them return to office, insisting that the conduct of their election was illegal and violated local government laws. But the judge disagreed. Justice Ringim 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.