More than one week after a High Court in Benin declared Hon Aremiyau Momoh as the valid and de jure elected Chairman of Etsako East Local Government Area Council of Edo State, he is yet to gain access to his office.
Investigations by Nigerian Pilot reveal that the Chairman has not been able to gain access to his office due to the presence of soldiers drafted to man the secretariat entrance allegedly on the orders of Governor Godwin Obaseki.
It will be recalled that last week Edo State High Court No 4, Benin City Presided over by Justice D.I. Okungbowa in suit no B/205/2019 handed down judgment in favor of the embattled chairman popularly called Mbakwe.
In the judgment delivered on 11th day December 2020, the learned trial judge declared the purported removal of Hon. Momoh by Edo State Governor as null and void.
The Court consequently directed Hon. Momoh to resume office as Chairman immediately.
Justice D.I Okungbowa granted all the prayers contained in the originating Summons filed on behalf of Hon. Momoh by the Law firm of West-Idahosa & Co.
The learned Judge held that Edo State Governor and the Government failed to comply with the provisions of Sections 20 and 21 of Edo State Local Government Law, 2000 (as amended) in failing to consult with the Edo State House of Assembly as provided by Law before suspending Hon. Momoh.
The Court further held that since the purported suspension was void in law, every other action predicated on it was invalid.
The Court awarded the sum of N250,000 as costs in favor of Hon. Momoh.
The Court also dismissed the notice of preliminary objection filed by Edo State Government challenging the competence of the suit.
Similarly, the Motion filed by the Edo State Government to arrest the judgment of the Court was dismissed.
Reacting to the development, Hon Aremiyau Momoh told Nigerian Pilot that he saw to it that copies of the court ruling were served on the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo, Army authorities, and even the Inspector General of Police.
“They are denying me access to the office. I have made efforts to see that the court papers are served on all relevant authorities. They have served the Area Commander, the Director DSS, the Officer in Charge of the unit, all relevant authority including the Inspector General of Police in his office in Abuja. Up till now, nothing has been done. My next line if action is to go back to my Lawyer West Idahosa for necessary advice and involvement.”
Efforts to get the Special Adviser to the Governor on Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie did not yield results.
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