From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Edo State chapters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have disagreed over the state government’s failure to comply with a court ruling reinstating the suspended council chairman of the Etsako East Local Government Area, Hon Aremiyau Momoh.
The APC, in a letter to the Edo State Commissioner of Police, signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the party’s Caretaker Committee, Col David Imuse (retd) and Mr Lawrence Okah, respectively, accused the Governor Godwin Obaseki of obstructing the implementation of the court judgment.
‘Take notice that the said judgment is a declarative one which no higher court has held otherwise for now,’ the joint statement read.
‘While counting on your proactive response in enforcing this judgment, please, accept the assurance of our warm regard. Attached herewith is the certified true copy of the judgment,’ part of the letter read.
Justice Daniel Okungbowa of the Edo High Court had in a recent judgment declared as illegal, null and void the suspension of the Etsako East Council chairman by Governor Obaseki.
However, following the refusal of the state government to implement the judgment, Imuse alleged in an interview that ‘Edo State has a governor who does not have one iota of respect for the judicial and legislative arms of government or the rule of law although he regularly runs to the courts on the most frivolous of excuses.’
Reacting to the development, Edo PDP Publicity Secretary Chris Nehikhare said the state government had already appealed the ruling of the high court.
‘As for the complaint about the situation in Etsako East Local Government Area, the state government is exercising its constitutional right for an appeal and has, along that line, filed for an appeal. It has also filed for a Stay of Execution on that judgment. Therefore, the status quo remains and only the court can make a pronouncement on the matter and not the APC,’ the party spokesman said.