The Former Deputy Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha has cautioned Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha on his threat to banish HRH Eze (Dr) Cletus Ilomuanya, CON, Obi of Obinugwu.
The Imo State Governor had threatened to banish the monarch if he insists that he is a traditional ruler in the state.
llomuanya at several fora had insisted that he is the rightful traditional ruler of Obinugwu community and Chairman, South East Council Traditional Rulers based on a ruling of the Appeal Court that reinstated him.
In defence of the embattled monarch, Ihedioha in a statement signed by Chibuike Onyeukwu, Head of his Media Office, the former federal lawmaker said Okorocha’s threat to banish Illomuanya is “indeed reckless, and very unbecoming of a governor of a state in a leading democratic nation like Nigeria”
He said the monarch did not err by approaching the courts to ventilate his displeasure at the unlawful dissolution of the Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers under his chairmanship by Governor Okorocha
The former Deputy Speaker noted that “Having won his case up to the Supreme Court, the Attorney General of the Federation and Honourable Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami, SAN, had directed in a letter to the governor that Eze Ilomuanya be accorded full rights and privileges, but he dismissed the Federal Government’s directive with a wave of hand”
Ihedioha added “To recourse to self help by threatening to among others, banish a highly revered monarch of Eze Ilomuanya’s standing is laughable, primitive, unfortunate and constitutes an affront on the rule of law. Okorocha must realise that power is transient and he cannot be wiser than the many Lordships that have reviewed his irresponsible actions. It is ironic that a beneficiary of judicial pronouncements such as ours in the 2015 governorship election will always find it convenient to constantly disrespect valid pronouncements of the court as if it is a parastatal of the state government”
He continued “It is an aberration in a democracy, for Governor Okorocha to continue to indulge in acts as if he has become law unto himself; acting like a dictator by refusing to obey the lawful directives of the Federal Government.This is indeed a recipe for lawlessness. The governor must also realize that the era of grandstanding with loquacious boasts is over”
He advised Governor Okorocha “to stop hallucinating and face the emerging realities of the moment”
He stated “Okorocha must be reminded that his threat to banish Eze Ilomuanya or any other Imolite as antithetical to the culture of Ndigbo. The governor should, rather than resort to intimidation, commend Eze (Dr.) Eze Ilomuanya, CON for being civil and responsible in his pursuit of the matter at the courts”
The former Deputy Speaker called on the federal government to beam its searchlight on the flagrant abuse of rule of law and illegalities going on in Imo State, adding that “Our traditional institution which is a sacred age long monument has been so desecrated, such that our ancestors have become worried and may soon commence a revolution”
He commended the Attorney General of the Federation for being forthright, firm and just in his disposition and directive that Eze Ilomuanya be reinstated in line with several court judgments, urging the AGF, to ensure full compliance with this landmark directive in order to save the nation from impunity and ridicule.