By  John Okiyi Kalu

Will Abia State Governor Alex Otti  get away with his autocratic behavior aimed at desecrating the rule of law in a democratic nation? The answer is blowing in the wind.

Gov Otti since December 2023 has been conniving with the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Emmanuel Emeruwa to subvert a Court of Appeal ruling in favour of Hon Aaron Uzodike. An incident political observers describe as a new Emperor testing the extent of his power in Abia State and if he is allowed to succeed how much harm would be inflicted on the rule of law and our democracy in Nigeria.

As the drama unfolds, my attention has been drawn to tissues of lies being peddled in the media space by agents of Governor Otti-led government on a purported valid court order restraining the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Emmanuel Emeruwa, from inaugurating Honorable Aaron Uzodike as the validly elected representative for Aba North State Constituency as directed by the Appeal Court of Nigeria that sat in Lagos, and I wish to state as follows:

1. There is currently no valid court injunction or judgement against the inauguration of Hon Aaron Uzodike anywhere in the world. The Government of Dr Alex Otti acting in cohort with Speaker Emeruwa sold that dummy to the public to justify its autocratic behavior aimed at desecrating the rule of law in a democratic nation. 

2. The directive “from above” not to inaugurate Aaron Uzodike on the 18th of December 2023 has now been proved to have come from the Governor and when the initial heat came with the popular uproar against the decision, Hon Destiny Nwagwu proceeded to shop for a court order to justify the action. He instituted a court process in January 2024 and tried to get an ex parte order restraining the Speaker from inaugurating Aaron Uzodike. Obviously, all ex parte injunctions have a life time of 7-14 days, hence any such order must have expired in January 2024 and was not renewed as the same High Court from which the order was allegedly procured has long dismissed the case. 

3. As at the original date (18th December 2023) fixed for the inauguration of Aaron Uzodike by the house of assembly, there was NO COURT ORDER OR INJUNCTION  stopping Speaker Emmanuel Emeruwa from performing that LAWFUL duty.  

4. The Ukwa division of Abia State High Court presided over by Honorable Justice C H Ahuchaogu, where Destiny Nwagwu rushed to obtain the purported kangaroo court order has since dismissed his suit number HUK/1/202 on March 19th 2024. See attached.

5. Any Abia State Government official or hirelings telling the tale that there is a subsisting court order against the inauguration of Aaron Uzodike is a pathological liar. We challenge the person to publish the purported court judgement or order for public scrutiny. 

Let me also at this time alert the people of Abia State and Nigeria that Speaker Emmanuel Emeruwa has been directed “from above” to travel out of the country immediately so that they can use his absence as an excuse to continue to delay the inauguration of Aaron Uzodike as they have exhausted all their infantile schemes and lies. 

Recall that Emeruwa only returned from abroad a week ago and now is preparing to travel again as directed. 

Speaker Emeruwa was at the house of assembly on Tuesday, 16th April 2024 and refused to inaugurate his Aba Ngwa kinsman, Aaron Uzodike, to represent the good people of Aba North LGA. He also failed to present to other members of the house any purported court order stopping him from inaugurating Aaron. Instead, during the executive session of the members he told them that Hon Aaron Uzodike attempted to commit him to jail for contempt of court so he will never inaugurate him even if the Governor lifts the embargo. 

Abians should note that Hon Aaron Uzodike presented himself to the Abia State House of Assembly on Tuesday  again to be inaugurated as directed by the highest court in Nigeria on legislative matters and nobody showed him any contrary or restraining court order stopping his inauguration. He waited from morning till the close of the house and returned home to Aba without being inaugurated. 

Mr Speaker Emeruwa, I hope you are clearly aware of what you are doing to the good people of Aba North LGA, Abians and Nigerians. You are abusing your office and desecrating the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. There are constitutional and political consequences attached to such actions and we hope you are ready?

As a citizen of Abia State who is ordinarily resident in Aba North, permit me to inform you, Speaker Emeruwa, that every single kobo due to Aba North constituency from November 2023 to date must be accounted for by you sir.  Every penny allocated in 2023 and 2024 budgets and released to your office with respect to Aba North must be accounted for by you to our people. If not today, then tomorrow. 

I am not personally interested in allegations of anyone acquiring luxurious properties in Lagos and abroad as rumored, because I only speak to facts I can verify, but be assured that no single kobo belonging to the good people of Aba North State Constituency will be stolen no matter how long the inauguration of Uzodike is delayed. 

Kalu was former Commissioner for Information; Trade & Investment, Abia State