Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha stumbled to another defeat on Monday as Justice Goddy Anunihu of the Imo high court awarded N8million cost against him after it declared null and void the suspension of five members of the state House of Assembly.
The judge held the view that the processes that led to the indefinite suspension of the five lawmakers was like “putting the horse before the cart.”
Justice Anunihu chided the Imo Assembly for acting against the law, disapproving the setting up of investigating panel even before the “purported indefinite suspension.”
He therefore set their suspension aside and awarded N8m as cost against the three defendants, which included the Imo State House of Assembly, the Speaker, Acho Ihim and the governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha.
The lawmakers Chiiji Collins (Isiala Mbano), Israel Nnataraoye (Mbaitoli), Nkenna Nzerue (Ikeduru), Uche Oguwuike (Oru east) and Donatus Onuigwe Oru west, were in July suspended by their colleagues for what the Speaker described as “un-parliamentary conduct.”
They were suspended during the crisis surrounding the unlawful impeachment of the state deputy governor, Eze Madumere, which was alleged to have been done at the behest of Mr. Okorocha.
Mr. Madumere has since been reinstated by the court.
One of the reinstated lawmakers, Nnataraonye, has hailed the judgement as a “victory for democracy and it shows that our judicial system is a place of justice.”
This adds to Mr. Okorocha’s political woes, who recently lost out in his bid to install his son-in-law as the next governor of Imo State.