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Rochas risks impeachment as court voids suspension of five lawmakers

More knocks are still underway for the embattled Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha whose son in-law, Mr. Uche Nwosu has lost out in the Imo State governorship ticket race in the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
This is against the backdrop of the ruling of an Imo State high court in Owerri on Monday that declared as null and void, the suspension of five members of the state House of Assembly.
Before now, the governor had a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed door weekend where observers felt that majority of the lingering issues in the party in Imo State would have been ironed out, but signals after the meeting were not salutary as Okorocha’s responses thereafter felt short of expectation before the Monday’s court ruling.
Analysts say with the latest development, the governor may have made more enemies than friends ahead of the 2019 general election where he is expected to amass votes for the party not only in his state, but across the South East.
Many Imo State citizens who were at the court premises after the judgment hinted that from the return of the five suspended members to the house, new realignments by members may crop up chances of impeachment plot against the governor having not been able to keep the party at peace since the build up to the state primaries which have created deeper gaps of political differences.
Currently, the state deputy governor, Chief Eze Madumere, who the Governor had earlier worked for his impeachment but was rescued and returned to office by the court has been picked as running mate to the substantive APC guber flag bearer, Chief Hope Uzodinma.
Political pundits say there may be a serious realignment especially as the five lawmakers return to the House for legislative duties.
The presiding judge, Justice Goddy Anunihu, who declared the processes that led to the indefinite suspension of the five lawmakers as “putting the horse before the cart,” also awarded N8m as cost against the three defendants.
The defendants in the suit instituted by the embattled lawmakers were: the Imo State House of Assembly, the Speaker, Acho Ihim and the governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha.
The lawmakers who have regain their return to the House include Chiiji Collins, Israel Nnataraoye, Nkenna Nzerue, Uche Oguwuike and Donatus Onuigwe.
They represent Isiala Mbano, Mbaitoli, Ikeduru, Oru East and Oru West state constituencies respectively.
Trouble had started in July when they were suspended by their colleagues in what the Speaker described as “un-parliamentary conduct.”
They were suspended during the crisis surrounding the impeachment of the state deputy governor, Eze Madumere.
While blaming the legislature for acting against the law, the court further faulted the setting-up of an investigation team to look into the allegations against the now reinstated lawmakers.
The jurist averred that the evidence before him proved that the panel was set up even before the “purported indefinite suspension.”
All most from the court premises, all the five lawmakers drove with joy to their respective offices at the State House of Assembly and immediately resumed their legislative duties.