•Appeal Court warns gov on Eze Ilomuanya
From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has vowed to produce his successor in 2019 from among members of his Rescue Mission in order to sustain the philosophy and legacies of the rescue mission.
This was just as he reiterated that the issue of zoning of the office of the governor is dead in the state.
Okorocha stated this while addressing stakeholders and leaders of the party from the 27 council areas of the state, who paid him a New Year visit at his country home in Ogboko, yesterday. He said whoever is taking over from him in 2019, will be member of the rescue mission political family and not an outsider.
“The issue of who takes over the mantle of governor of the state in 2019 must come from the Rescue Mission political family and not an outsider. This is because the person already knows the driving philosophy and would sustain the legacies of this government.”
Okorocha further stressed that the era of zoning political offices has gone for good in the state, saying the zoning of political offices in the past did not encourage the much needed growth and development.
“As a politician, I can authoritatively tell you that any politician that gets into any political office based on zoning will be a clannish leader, because he or she will channel all his energy in doing things that would satisfy his people. But when a politician is elected on popular demand, devoid of zoning, he or she will see the entire state as his own and treat every zone equally in the scheme of things,” he noted.
He pointed out that his Rescue Mission, in the last six and half years has not done anything based on zone or where he comes from, as the developmental projects, including political appointments, have been distributed evenly across the state.
Okorocha, who stated that his greatest desire is to see that all his political sons and daughters in the Rescue Mission administration grow more than him politically, vowed to ensure that Imo State will not be made a political battle ground in 2019 by overzealous politicians, who are desperate to be governor at all costs.
The governor, who maintained that his support and endorsement for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari will make an Igbo president possible in 2023, added that he is fully in charge, as all the names, from the state, who made the recently released Federal Board members, including the name of Senator Osita Izunaso, was his own list.
Meanwhile, justice of the Court of Appeal, Owerri Division, Ita Mbaba, has berated counsels to Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, over their continued bid to defend what he called an act of impunity and flagrant lawlessness by their employers.
This was even as the judge admonished the Attorney-General and other state counsels to stop ridiculing themselves by accepting cases they cannot defend.
The court is apparently not happy with the appeal brought by Governor Okorocha against the judgment of the Federal High Court, Owerri, which ordered him to pay Eze Cletus Ilomuanya N10 million as damages, for unlawfully directing thugs to invade the monarch’s residence in Owerri, in August 2011.
In dismissing Okorocha’s appeal on Wednesday, in a unanimous judgement by the three judges, read by Justice Ita Mbaba, it described the act as “exhibition of raw government might, lawlessness and condemnable.” The appellate court further ordered Okorocha and his men to pay Eze Ilomuanya N10 million and an additional N.1 million as cost, for bringing the unmeritorious appeal against him.
The court admonished the Imo State Attorney General and other state counsels not to be intimidated by anybody into accepting cases that ridicule them. “In the alternative, resign and go elsewhere to carry on your legal practice,” the court advised.