Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has claimed full responsibility for the botched swearing-in of the new deputy governor of the state, Sir Calistus Ekenze, on Tuesday.
According to the governor, the swearing-in was suspended following his directive to the Chief Judge of the state to obey the interim court order restraining him from carrying out the exercise.
Governor Okorocha, who gave the explanation said that prior to the swearing-in, the venue of the scheduled swearing-in, the Sam Mbakwe Exco Chamber was full to the brim by guests, including senior government functionaries and APC leaders in the state, before he gave the directive which came through the Attorney-General of the state, Barr. M.O. Nlemedim, to halt the exercise.
The governor gave the explanation through his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo.
He said that he had insisted that the Interim Order be obeyed not minding some issues raised by senior lawyers in the government against the Order, maintaining that his administration must continue to obey valid court orders served on the government or agents of the government.
It should be recalled that the 19 members of the state’s House of Assembly had, on Monday, July 30, 2018 impeached the former Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere, following the submission, last Friday, of the report of the Panel that investigated the accusations against him.
Also, according to the governor’s statement, “The Deputy-Governor earlier got an order against the impeachment process, on July 5, 2018 by a State High Court, but the Order was vacated and described as a ‘nullity’ by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja presided over by Justice O. A. Musa on July 16, 2018.