An Owerri High Court yesterday restrained suspended local government chairmen and their councillors from invading local government headquarters with the intention of taking over the administration of the councils pending the hearing of the substantive suit.
The embattled chairmen, all members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), were elected on August 25, 2018 in an election conducted by the immediate past administration of Rochas Okorocha.
They were, however, suspended by the Emeka Ihedioha-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led -government shortly on assumption of office.
On Monday, the suspended chairmen caused mayhem while attempting to take over the administration of the local councils. They said that they were acting on the strength of a Supreme Court judgment in the case between local government chairmen in Ekiti state and the state government wherein the court ruled that governors lacked the powers to sack elected local government chairmen. But they were resisted by members of the interim management committees appointed by Ihediola, leading violent protest, destruction and loss of lives. However, while ruling on an ex parte motion filed by the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ndukwe Nnawuchi, on January 6, Justice Eze Ohiri Njemanj, gave an interim order restraining the suspended chairmen either by themselves, agents or privies from doing anything or taking any action that could disturb the administration of local government areas pending the determination of the suit filed by the chairmen against their suspension.
He asked them to maintain the status quo ante from June 17, 2019 when they were suspended. The judge, therefore, fixed January 28 for the hearing of the substantive suit.