By Chidiebere Onyemaizu
Out-going Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha, is in a race against time. Sources in Owerri, the state capital, and Abuja, inform that the governor who leaves office on May 29, after eight years, is frantically exploring ways to accomplish two tasks before exiting power: Procure last minute multiple black market court injunctions truncating governor-elect, Rt. Honourable Emeka Ihedioha’s inauguration, as well as another restraining order on security agencies and anti-graft bodies – EFCC and ICPC- from arresting him after May 29.
“If all goes well, Owelle (Okorocha) will spring surprises on his traducers. Watch out”, one of his supporters boasts
Okorocha is said to have been knocking on doors in Abuja and Owerri to this effect. And is allegedly shopping for pliant judges in Imo and Abuja that could help him achieve his objectived. He is also said to have sought the help of powerful power brokers, mainly influential Northern politicians, to help him swing things before May 29.
The game-plan, this magazine was informed, is, aside similar cases already filed in the courts, to institute more multiple legal actions in Owerri and Abuja through proxies. It was learnt that in the coming days, Okorocha’s lackeys, operating under different faceless groups, including a hurriedly-assembled fake Imo PDP members, will file suits in High courts in Owerri and Abuja praying that INEC withdraws the Certificate of Return it issued to Ihedioha on the ground that he was not validly nominated by the PDP as its candidate.
Other suits will be praying the courts to stop the swearing-in of the governor-elect on the ground that his declaration as the winner of the March 9, 2019 election violated the electoral act.
Recall that Okorocha anointed his son-inlaw, Uche Nwosu, as his successor and assiduously worked to ensure he was enthroned.
However, Nwosu was to lose the APC gubernatorial ticket to Senator Hope Uzodinma.
His movement to the little known Action Alliance, AA, to contest the election was equally met with failure as he was defeated by PDP’s Ihedioha, coming second with 190,364 votes as against the PDP candidate’s 273,404.
Okorocha is, allegedly, primed at using the courts to get his son-inlaw into office as governor through the back door, having been given assurances, sources claim, by certain elements in Abuja that it was doable.
The Source learnt that apart from the #400million parting largesse Okorocha gave to the state’s lawmakers which is currently tearing them apart, some returning AA members are also engaged in a muted struggle to take over from the embattled Speaker, Acho Ihim who is facing impeachment threat. Incidentlly, the Speaker is Nwosu’s running mate.
Their calculation is that the court will eventually halt Ihedioha’s inauguration preparatory to the voiding of his election and declaration of Nwosu as the rightful winner. They reason that this will create an uncharted constitutional lacuna that could be resolved by the elevation of the Speaker to Acting governor( provided he is re-elected).
Though, Okorocha has already filed a suit at Abuja High court to stop anti- graft agencies from arresting him when his immunity expires on May 29, the impending fresh suits, according to insiders, are meant to frustrate EFCC and ICPC’s possible action against him. Sources disclose that there are petitions by some Imo indigenes pending in the anti- corruption agencies accusing the out-going governor of massive graft.