Monday, 27 September, 2021

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Caretaker committee: Ngige’s community floors Anambra Govt in court


The Court of Appeal, Awka Division has upheld the judgment of an Anambra State High Court, disbanding  Caretaker Committee as the town union  of Alor community in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State.

The appellate court dismissed the appeal brought by the Anambra State government against the judgment of the lower court for lacking in merit, according to a statement from Senator Chris Ngige Media Office.

The statement berated the state government for violating the judgment of the high court by  continuing to appoint  illegal caretaker committee despite the judgment of the lower court.

Alor is the hometown of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige.

In a unanimous decision on Tuesday, June 29, 2021,  the three-man panel of justices affirmed the legality of the Alor Town Government led by Sir Uzoma Igbonwa, warning the Anambra State government to desist from appointment of caretaker committee as town government in Alor.

Delivering the lead judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Egondu Nwosu-Iheme held that “it is unjust to allow Anambra State government at this present age to continue to appoint caretaker committee for Alor people.”

Iheme-Nwosu, who led two other justices, affirmed that Alor people should be allowed to appoint or elect their leaders as they have done.

According to her, the appellants were given ample opportunity at the court below to file and argue their case, but they failed to utilize their time and, therefore, cannot be heard or complain of denial of fair hearing.

She said: “The action of the government of Anambra State is capable of setting the community on fire. It is condemnable in a democratic society. The orders made by the trial court cannot be reversed.

“Accordingly, this appeal lacks merit and same is hereby dismissed. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed. There shall be no order as to cost.”

Speaking on the implications of the judgment, one of the respondents’ counsels, Bona Oraekwe said, that “it is now clear that the defunct Alor Caretaker Committee is illegal ab initio.”

“It follows that everything the Caretaker Committee who operated illegally under the banner of the defunct Alor Peoples Convention had done is null and void and of no effect, including the purported installation of Chinedu Elibe Okonkwo as the Igwe of Alor,” Orakwe said.

He added that the judgment has affirmed the legality of everything Igbonwa’s administration has done, including the dethronement of Elibe and enthronement of His Royal Majesty, Igwe Ebelechukwu Collins Chukumesili as Ezediohamma III of Alor.

Credit: Daily Sun

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