|Gov. Okorocha with Charles Oputa(R)|
By Barr. Emperor N. Iwuala
In my last article some weeks ago, while commenting on the recent news of the death of our legal icon, Rtd. Justice Chukwudifu Akunne Oputa, I among other things, condemned the news-stories and pictures I saw in some print media where the Imo State Government handed over a cheque of =N=20m to the late jurist’s son Charles Oputa a.k.a. Charlie Boy for the burial of his father.
I also remarked on how it was rumoured that Governor Rochas Okorocha wanted to ‘hijack’ the burial of the late judge for selfish reasons. I also informed my readers on how it was reported that Charlie Boy also warned Governor Okorocha to steer clear of his father’s burial stating that his father was an international figure who belonged to a different class in the society.
In that write-up, I eulogized late Justice Oputa as a very sound and upright judge who developed rule of law in Imo State and Nigeria referring him as an epitome of justice and legality.
On the other hand, I warned Governor Okorocha not to attend Late Justice Oputa’s funeral because of the governor’s penchant for disobedience to court judgments and rule of law. I remember I was very clear in my warning for I remember saying that ‘he he goes to equity must go with clean hands’.
Accordingly, I advised my Governor that if he were to go for the burial that he should reverse some of the illegal actions he had dond since the advent of his administration and should obey many court judgments he had been disobeying. I remember I said that if otherwise, that Oputa’s spirit would sentence him to death by hanging.
I listed the various court judgments and illegalities to include:
1. Refusal to re-instate elected local government Councils in the 27 Local Government Area Councils in Imo State as against the Judgment of the Court of Appeal.
2. Use of Sole Administrators to run local government councils in Imo State as against Court of Appeal declaration of Sole Administrators as unconstitutional.
3. Refusal to re-instate sacked members of the Imo State Judicial Service Commission against the judgment of an Owerri High Court.
4. Refusal to obey the Court of Appeal judgment re-instating Eze C. I. Ilomuanya as the Chairman Imo State Council of Ndi-eze.
5. Sack of beneficiaries of the Ten Thousand (10,000) Job Scheme without regard to the Imo State Public/Civil Service Rules.
6. Demolition of people’s houses without due process.
7. Illegal dissolution of House of Assembly Service Commission, Civil Service Commission, Local Government Service Commission, Imo State Independent Electoral Commission (ISIEC), Local Government Development Areas, Judicial Service Commission, Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers and the Imo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (ISOPADEC).
8. Refusal to pay Severance Allowance and other Entitlements to former political office holders.
9. Illegal proscription of Local Government Development Area Councils.
10. Refusal to formalize and pay for contracts done.
11. Illegal Suspension/Retirement of Permanent Secretaries and public Servants.
12. Illegal Revocation of Plots of Lands allotted to persons without due process.
13. Illegal trespass to Area ‘K’ Land belonging to Amawom-Owerri people when the matter is still in court.
14. Illegal acquisition/revocation and trespass to land belonging to Umuguma and Naze people in Owerri.
15. Illegal Dissolution of Town Unions in all the Autonomous Communities in Imo State as against the provision of the Nigerian Constitution, the Companies and Allied Matters Act and the Imo state laws on town unions
16. Illegal and unjust impeachment of his former deputy, Sir Jude Agbaso etc.
But unfortunately, my governor took my advice for granted. Instead of staying back in Turkey where he was on a jamboree, he hurriedly flew in for the burial. Unfortunately, from the first moment he started identifying with the burial, he started getting the greatest embarrassment of his life. First was during the tribute for the late jurist held in the newly built International Conference Center in Owerri. The event was the first time the center was put into use. Charlie Boy walked out on the Governor when the Governor wanted to speak at the occasion and that was the end of the show.
If not that Rochas Okorocha is a sturbbon man, he would have known that the worse disgrace was in the offing. The mother of all disgrace was during the funeral service Sacred Heart Parish Oguta. Not only that the Governor’s condolence letter was not included in the burial brochure but Charlie Boy openly stopped Governor Okorocha from Speaking at the church service which saw the governor leaving the venue of the event in shame.
Is this an indication that even the dead have started rejecting Governor Okorocha? But I warned him. ‘Ukpara okpoko gburu, nti chiri ya’.
I know that when the gods want to kill some body, they first of all make that person stubborn, then mad before striking that person dead.
Am I now justified on my advice on what Gov. Okorocha should have done before going to Justice Oputa’s burial?
Is it also an indication that the day of doom for Gov Okorocha is fast approaching?
(Iwuala can be reached on: 08037247295, firstname.lastname@example.org)