Drama as Court halts swearing-in of new deputy governor in Imo

Eze Madumere

The Imo State High Court on Tuesday halted the swearing-in ceremony for the new Deputy Governor-designate, Callistus Ekenze.

This was after the impeachment of the former Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere on Monday by the State House of Assembly despite a court’s injunction restraining the House from doing so.

After waiting for four hours for the swearing-in, 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.

Punch quoted a government source as saying that 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 was said to have told the governor that it would be wrong for him to be seen disobeying a court order, considering his position as the chief judge of the state.

The source said that the chief judge 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 later today.