Odds favour Obiozor to emerge President-General

By Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki

Apex Igbo socio cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndígbo will conduct election for its National Executives today (Sunday) amidst litigations pending at various courts in the country.

This is even as the suspended Secretary-General of the organisation, Uche Okwukwu and some disgruntled members plan a parallel election.

While the Nwodo-led leadership inaugurated an electoral committee headed by Enwo Igariwey, another committee headed by Richard Ozobu was inaugurated on December 31st 2020, in a meeting called by the embattled Secretary-General, Uche Okwukwu.

A High Court in Imo State on Monday granted an injunction restraining Messrs Okwukwu and Ozubu from holding the parallel congress.

The court issued the order in a suit filed by former Imo State Governor, Ikedi Ohakim, who is a member of the Imeobi Ohanaézè, the second highest organ of the party.

But Okwukwu filed a suit in an Umuahia High Court, days later, seeking to halt the elections being carried out by the Enwo Igariwey electoral committee.

The suit with number HOW/3/2021 filed by Mr. Ohakim has Ohanaézè Ndígbo and Mr Nwodo as first and second respondents.

Mr Okwukwu, Ohanaézè Electoral Committee are listed as third and fourth respondents while Mr Igariwey and Mr Ozubu are the fifth and sixth respondents.

The former governor, in the motion on notice, among others, asked the court to issue an order of interlocutory injunction retraining Mr Okwukwu and the electoral committee he purportedly inaugurated from conducting any election into the organisation.

In his ruling, Justice S I Okpara granted the order restraining the embattled Secretary General, ?zubu and his cohorts from interfering in the election.

“It is hereby ordered that the 3rd and 6th defendants and their cohorts are hereby restrained in the interim from interfering in any manner whatsoever in the election of officers of the 1st defendants and or in any manner conducting a parallel election of the officers of the 1st defendant pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction fixed for Monday the 11th of January, 2021”, the judge said.

But Okwukwu in his own suit filed before an Umuahia High Court urged the court to recognise the electoral committee he set up headed by Mr Ozobu as the only body legally empowered to go ahead with the election. Nwodo is the sole defendant in the suit.

Okwukwu is also claiming that the Ime-Obi meeting of Ohanaeze where the Nwodo leadership inaugurated an election committee was null and void as the latter had no powers to summon such a meeting.

Apart from praying the court to stop Nwodo’s committee from going ahead with the election, he is also seeking the sum of N50, 000, 000 as general damages.

He is also seeking an order of court “setting aside any decision taken by the Defendant and the members of Ohanaeze Ndigbo at the Ime-Obi meeting on 20th day of December 2020, as being nugatory, null and void and of no effect whatsoever, same having not been summoned by the plaintiff in accordance with the provisions of Article 11 of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Constitution.”

However, no date was fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Obiozor endorsed by governors

Meanwhile, The Nation gathered that Professor George Obiozor is set to emerge as the next President-General of the apex Igbo body.

This followed his endorsement by governors of the region.

Obiozor was recommended as a consensus candidate by Imo Elders Council headed by Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu.

The position was zoned to Imo State.

He was thereafter presented to the Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, who accepted the recommendation.

Obiozor also visited Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, who is the Chairman of Southeast Governors Forum, who equally endorsed him.

He also got an endorsement from Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State who received him and his entourage in Umuahia a few days ago.

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