Imo High Court Complex Abandoned Overtaken With Weed, Residents Query Govt Neglect

The new Imo State High Court Complex has been taken over by weed.

The complex, built by the immediate past administration in the state has been abandoned and subject to no use by the new administration.

Findings by our correspondents reveal that the multi-Million naira edifice constructed to serve the Imo state judiciary has been overtaken by weed.

A resident of Imo state, Mr Chidi Okafor who spoke to newsmen expressed displeasure over the development, noting how detrimental the action of the current government is to the progress of the state.

Okafor told newsmen that the situation has become worrisome with government neglecting meaningful infrastructural projects that would have aided the development of Imo state.

“I find this situation very embarrassing. The new government since it came to power has squarely been concerned with destroying and neglecting meaningful as well as impactful projects of the last administration.

“Look at the demolition of the Imo freedom falls and destruction of other ongoing projects conceived and paid for by the last regime. These projects were funded with our resources, the taxes we pay and our commonwealth.

“The present government should with utmost sincerity and the passion they have for this state settle its differences with the immediate past administration. We cannot watch things destabilize this way and destroy our heritage in the name of politics. They should find a way to bury their ego for the betterment of our state. Enough is Enough.”

Another resident, a lawyer who spoke to our correspondent anonymously noted that the current situation was not what electorates in the state had expected when Governor Emeka Ihedioha took over the reins.

She urged the new administration to consolidate on the many gains recorded under the last government and continue to drive the state forward.

“ Any serious government would have made it a point of duty to continue where the last administration stopped. I see no reason why he ( Emeka Ihedioha) would abandon an edifice such as this “.

Imo has in the last few months witnessed the alleged demolition of several of former Governor Rochas Okorocha’s “ legacy projects” by the new government, this has fueled speculations on the streets that the neglect suffered by the Imo State High court complex might not be unrelated to these claims.

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I Will No Longer Tolerate Ihedioha’s Attacks – Okorocha

The former Governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha has accused the Imo state government of attacks on his personal properties in the state.

In a statement, Okorocha said that agents of the state government have since his exit from office launched several attacks on properties, individuals and anything that has to do with him.

These activities according to the Imo North Senator potrayed as recovery of the state assets have resulted in the damage, vilification and abuse of power in a bid to witch-hunt him.

“In the last couple of months, the government of Emeka Ihedioha has launched and sustained attacks on my property and that of my family members. They had raided my wife and daughter’s businesses places and I have reported to the authorities.

“Now the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Uche Onyeaguocha, went to my private guesthouse, chased away the security men and broke into the house, ransacked it and made away with documents, locked up the house and took the keys.

“I have been quiet about all these unwarranted attacks but they should not take my silence for granted.”

Okorocha posited that if the Imo State government is acting on the dictates of the law, it should obtain a court order that will legalize any of its actions and not unleash state forces to destroy his personal properties.

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Okorocha: Why Imo Gov Ihedioha Is After Me

The immediate past governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, on Wednesday said his successor, Emeka Ihedioha, was destroying projects executed by his administration in order to discredit his achievements and the All Progressives Congress legacy in the South-East.

He also said the Peoples Democratic Party administration in the state was fighting him because of the defeat that the party suffered through him in the 2011 and 2015 general elections,  when he won the governorship election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

Okorocha, who is now representing Imo West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, made the claims in a statement issued in Owerri on Wednesday by his media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo.

He alleged that his successor wanted to destroy the APC in the South-East at all cost.

The senator said the PDP stalwarts in the state were still angry with him for making sure that former President Goodluck Jonathan’s voting strength in the South-East in the 2019 general elections was challenged.

The statement read in part, “The Governor Emeka Ihedioha-led PDP government in the state is simply fighting back because of the defeat they suffered in 2011 and 2015 in the hands of Senator Rochas Okorocha.

“They are also playing the politics of how to remain in power in the state having known that they didn’t win the 2019 governorship election because before now, nobody had become the governor of the state with bloated figures from only three out of the 27 local government areas in the state.

“For them too, having known that Imo remains the strongest hold of APC in the South-East, they now feel that once APC is destroyed in Imo, the party has been destroyed in the South-East. That is another major reason for the current hostility against Okorocha, his amazing achievements and APC members in Imo.”

The Senator also said his administration left N42.5bn in the state coffers, but alleging that Ihedioha had not fixed any bad road since he became governor.

But Ihedioha, while reacting through his Special Adviser on media, Steve Osuji, said Okorocha’s allegations against him were baseless.

He said, “The Imo State Governor is more preoccupied with the challenges of rebuilding the state.”

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Outrage as Imo Gov Ihedioha Allegedly Demolish Rochas Freedom Square Project

Residents of Imo State’s capital, Owerri were left bewildered as the Freedom Park, built by the immediate past governor, Rochas Okorocha was demolished on August 1.

The sound of earth-moving equipment and heavy machinery dominated the air as the park, built barely two years ago, was torn down in a flagrant show of force. The fountain was reduced to a pile of iron and concrete as on-lookers gathered to catch a glimpse of the wreckage.

Freedom Park, or Freedom Square as it is also called, is one of the attractions erected by Okorocha during his term as governor. The park was a fair distance from the State House and has been described as ‘t?he safe house of Owerri, a place where everyone is equal irrespective of politics and religion?’. Recently, it has become a hotspot for late-night revellers and tourists.

While most residents are at a loss to explain the events of August 1, there is a general sentiment that the demolition was ordered by new Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha.

The events share parallels with the levelling of another tourist attraction, Akachi Tower in May. The tower, also built by Okorocha, was demolished days after his successor was sworn in.

During its inauguration, Okorocha said Akachi Tower signified the generous hand of God over the state. The tower, along Owerri’s Akachi Road, featured a spiral staircase, topped by a defiant fist.

The tower was pulled down with a demolition truck before the culprits, numbering over a dozen, were reportedly removed from the scene by men in military fatigues. The new Imo State Governor did not respond to rumours of his involvement.

The demolition of tourist attractions like the Akachi Tower and Freedom Square has set off conversations about the new administration’s perceived intention to revise a chapter of Imo’s history.

During his tenure, Okorocha erected many edifices as part of his efforts to turn Imo State, and Owerri in particular, into a tourism hub.

The Imo State Governor is yet to release an official statement on the matter.

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Protest Begins In Imo Over Alleged Slap Of Okorocha’s Daughter

Protest by hundreds of women has started in Imo state, over the alleged slapping of the daughter of Senator Rochas Okorocha, by a member of the recovery of government properties set up by Governor Emeka Ihedioha.

The women who assembled at the Rochas Foundation office along Okigwe road, at about 10:59 am. They said that they will be matching to the Imo state Police Headquarters to submit their petition against the government on the slapping drama.

However, tension has hightened in the state, as there could be a counter-protests. More details soon…

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One Shot, Many Injured As Ihedioha’s Thugs Continue Harassment Of Okorocha’s Family Members

By Johnbull Chikwe

Armed thugs, allegedly acting on the instructions of the Imo State governor, Emeka Ihedioha have invaded ‘House of Freeda’, a business outfit of the first daughter of the immediate past governor of the State, Uloma Nwosu.

Mrs Uloma Nwosu is also the wife of the governorship candidate of the Action Alliance. She had been severally harassed in the past, with some of her personal and company vehicles allegedly taken away at gunpoint, by armed thugs allegedly acting in line with the directives of the governor of Imo State.

Governor Ihedioha has recently raised the tempo of his harassment against family members and political associates of his major rival in the last governorship election. It is believed that the governor whose election is facing some challenges at the court is anxious to weaken the morale of key associates of the AA governorship candidate, to either cow them into submitting to his draconian rule or stampede them out of town to ensure that he has a free ride.

So far, unconfirmed reports have it that one person has been shot, while several others sustain injuries as the thugs are looting valuables from the business premises.

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INEC Insists No Certificate Of Return For Okorocha

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted that it will not present a certificate of return to Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha.

INEC’s National Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Mr. Festus Okoye, said this, yesterday.

He said the electoral body took the decision because the returning officer for Imo West senatorial district election said he declared governor Okorocha as the winner “under duress.”

Asked whether the commission investigated the claim and confirmed that it was true, Okoye said “Yes.”

“We’ve made it clear on why we didn’t present any certificate of return to him (Okorocha).

“If you look at our website, we said the declaration and return were made under duress and that we are not going to give any certificate to any person  who procured a return under duress.”

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Suspected Hoodlums Set INEC Office Ablaze In Imo

The Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) office in Ngor Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State has been set on fire by suspected hoodlums.

The INEC spokesperson in the state, Emanuella Opara, said she could not confirm the developments because she had been deployed to a local government to function as an electoral officer.

She said: “If I were to be in the headquarters now I would have confirmed the report to you but I am here on the field working.”

The police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeonkwu, said he would find out what happened and get back to our reporter.

However, a party agent at the local government, who asked not to be named, said no damage was done to the official result already collated.

Armed thugs had on Saturday invaded many polling units in Ngor Okpala LGA and carted away voting materials including ballot papers, ballot boxes and result sheets.

Many INEC ad-hoc staff were also beaten up with their valuables, including mobile phones, wallets and bags lost in the process.

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Okigwe Senatorial Rerun: Umuigbo Progressive Network Urges Okigwe Electorates To Vote APC’s Senator Uwajumogu

A renowned socio-political and ethnic group, Umuigbo Progressive Network (UPN), has urged the people of Imo North Senatorial District to troop out to vote Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu in the re-run election scheduled to hold on Saturday March 9.

Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on Tuesday declared the senatorial election in Imo North National Assembly election in the senatorial district inconclusive due to alleged violence, ballot box snatching and other irregularities.

The group, in a statement signed by the National Co-ordinator, Barr Oscar Obi, KSM, appealed to electorates in Okigwe North Senatorial district to vote Senator Uwajumogu as the fate of an Igbo Senate Presidency is dependent on his re-election.

“This is a special appeal from the entire Igbo region to the good of people of Okigwe to vote Senator Uwajumogu, so as to get the Senate Presidency. We believe the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), is ready to make an Igbo man the Senate President, but this cannot happen if we do not re-elect a ranking Senator of the party – Senator Uwajumogu to represent Imo North Senatorial District in the National Assembly.

“Re-electing Senator Uwajumogu will mean having something more than a governor in our district,” he emphasized.

UmuNne biko gbania n?! Ndewo nu o!

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APC Dissolves State, LG, Ward Excos In Ogun, Imo

The All Progressives Congress has dissolved the executive committees in Imo and Ogun states.

Also dissolved were the local government and ward executives in the two states.

In their place, the NWC would inaugurate caretaker committees that would superintend over the affairs of the party in the two states ahead of the general elections.

Their dissolution formed part of the resolutions reached during the National Working Committee meeting presided over by the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, in Abuja on Tuesday.

Recall that Governor Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and his counterpart in Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, and Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, had vowed to work against governorship candidates in their states.

A member of the NWC told Punch newspaper correspondent that the meeting decided to dissolve all the party structures in Ogun and Imo states to stem the conflict of ideas being promoted by the two governors.

He said, “The two governors have sponsored their preferred candidates on the platform of other political parties while they are holding on to the APC’s senatorial tickets.

“We see this as a conflict of interest which could jeopardise the party’s efforts to win the two states.”

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2019: Oshiomole Stole The Mandate Of Imo APC, Okorocha Alleges

Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has insisted the crisis rocking the state’s chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may be irreconcilable considering various steps he had taken to address the situation.

Recall that Chairman of the reconciliatory committee the APC set up to look into the grievances in Imo State, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, had assured that the first task of their mission, which is to ensure Governor Okorocha remained in the party had been completed, emphasising that the second phase of discussion which he said would be indoors would be favourable to APC members in the state.

However, Okorocha, in his response, said: “There shouldn’t have been crisis in the party because of the affinity of the members, we are like one big family. When we came in 2011, it was a miracle, the who is who in Imo politics were against us but we won that election. We moved from APGA to APC because of the name of President Muhammadu Buhari, which is synonymous with integrity. I am a foundation member of the APC. I suggested the name APC.

“When we started, we were called names, we were made to look like aliens in our state, this is the only state you have elected office holders that are of the APC extraction. Those Oshiomole gave the tickets were not APC members, the worst political injustice in the history of Nigeria happened in Imo.

“The only reason these people are here is because of Buhari, not because they have benefitted. The issue we have is with Adams Oshiomole, he stole the mandate of the people and gave it away for reasons best known to him. The people here are concerned because the name of the person on APC ticket is not the candidate of their choice. The situation at hand has gone beyond what we can manage.”

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2019: Who Flys The Owerri Zone APC Senatorial Flag Better? By Emmanuel Chukwu

Prior to the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial primaries in Imo State two names were very dominant for the Imo East senatorial seat, Barr. Chyma Anthony and Engr. Emma Ojinene. Both of them had at one point or the other aspired for political positions in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

While Ojinere had the ambition of becoming governor, Anthony had the ambition of becoming the Senator representing the zone, but at last both of them did not go through in their respective aspirations.

By political realignment both of them are today in the APC with senatorial ambition. Ojinere had served as a commissioner under the Okorocha administration and Anthony has demonstrated unwavering commitment to the

APC government in ways portraying him as a staunch APC member.
As an international lawyer he made the headlines when he sued the National Assembly on its insistence to reverse order of elections, which the APC said was aimed at short changing the party.

Their antecedents show that they are committed to the APC cause, in different ways, each according to his convictions and capacity.

At the build up to the primaries in the state, there was the speculation whether Engr. Ojinere was still desirous of aspiring for the Senate seat of Owerri zone because of his inability to visit the nine local governments in the in the zone to canvass for support and their votes in the primary election. This situation made it possible for party members in the LGAs to hold the view that Barr. Anthony was the only one in the race each time he visited the LGA party members for consultation and support.

This lacuna may have prompted some youths in the zone to troop to roads in Owerri to call for support for Barr. Anthony as their preferred candidate, based on their conviction that he has the capacity to represent the zone very well at the Senate, having shown consistency commitment and capacity.

To many of the party members in the zone, Engr. Ojinere’s inability to tour the nine local governments to canvass for support and familiarise himself with the party members and their peculiar problems and needs left much to be desired. Denying them the opportunity to interact with him and asses his ability to fly their flag left a big question mark. It made the people to assume that he may have dropped his ambition, while he was still interested.

Barr. Anthony probably because of a clear cut definition of what he wants since 2011 took the necessary step of visiting the people to interact with them as is the rule in intra party democracy for aspirants to visit their party members and potential voters to solicit their support and vote at the primary first and at the election proper, if he or she clinches the party ticket. It is the understanding of party members and voters that visiting party members and electorates prior to primaries and the main election is one valid step that gives credibility to the aspirant and a party candidate, the huge financial involvement and risks notwithstanding. It is practice in tandem with our democracy as elsewhere in the world.

This deficiency may have prompted party members to view the announcement of Ojinere as winner of the senatorial primary with doubt. To Barr. Anthony’s sympathisers, they could not believe how it could be possible for them to have voted for an aspirant that never sought their votes, whose face never registered in their brain. Some are of the view that Engr. Ojinere rested on his oars because of governor Rochas Okorocha’s alleged earlier nod to his aspiration, if this is true he may have misunderstood the dynamic rhythm of politics, where expediency alters status quo ante in some cases. And failing to visit those he intend to represent to seek their support at the primary election, has the incontrovertible ingredient of suspicion that he was no longer interested in his earlier aspiration. At least, on the surface. This may have been the view of such local government party members who did not see him in their local governments prior to the primary election. Stretching the suspicion, they may have also thought that he lacks the capacity to represent them, very well.

Again, if the party had resolved to give its ticket to a particular aspirant or some aspirants in relation to other positions as the case may be, was it not immoral and undemocratic in the first place? If the party or the governor had tipped a particular aspirant, was it not immoral to have allowed other aspirants to purchase nomination forms at outrageously huge amounts of money?
With particular emphasis on the Anthony-Ojinere issue which of them, is with the capacity to win the election proper?

Admitted, they are all gentlemen, but which of them can enjoy public goodwill and which of them has the ability based on prima facia evidence to win victory for the party, considering the fact that one of them was able to tour all the LGAs in the zone to seek their consent. Remember in course of such tours, the party members and voters have the ample opportunity to assess an aspirant’s ability to deliver the dividend of representative democracy.
Barr. Anthony’s consistency in his senatorial aspiration since 2011, gives him out as one conversant with the demands of the office he is aspiring to hold and presenting himself to the zone in course of his LGA tours speaks of preparedness and willingness to handle the office.

Chukwu is a public affairs analyst based in Owerri, Imo State

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