The Industrial Court of Appeal is set to begin the hearing of the case that the Anambra State Councillors has brought before the Court of Justice. The Court of Appeal, Enugu will hear the case which had delayed due to the industrial action of the Nigeria’s judicial staffs. Sequel to the call off of the strike by the union, the Court of Appeal will now go ahead to hear the case.
According to FirstNews reporter who was at the Court to ascertain the status of the case and was reliably informed by a staff of the court who pleaded anonymity, that all is now set for the case to begin. According to the staff, ” strike is off and all obstacles in the way of the court to hear this matter has been taken off. Am sure the court will soon fix a date for the matter”
Speaking to the reporter, one of the councillors, Hon Chike Okogba affirmed the Councillors’ Forum readiness to fight for their rights and entitlements. “What we are in court for is our rights and even the Christian God and as well the gods of our ancestors insist that a worker deserves his wages. Since our plead to state government have not yielded the desired result, we cannot but take our fates into our hands. The court is still the hope of the common man” Hon Okogba stated.
On how they plan to win their case against a supposedly stronger state government which deliberately also didn’t pay them when their term came to end, Hon Chris Onwuamaeze added that the law is their pillar and court their hope. “All we can say now is that the law is our hope and God will fight for us. Today people talk about APGA crisis and only look at the big names. They forgot we the elected councillors held the party for over ten years before our election in 2014. That we financed the party and nurtured her members. Even when they have all the monies in the world they cannot buy the relationship we have in the grassroots. Fate will work against them and even the people will not reject them till they make peace with us, the people who brought the party to the grassroots. We are the grassroots leaders ”
The Anambra State elected Councillors who held the Local Government Council Legislature from 2014 to 2016 has for the past years made various appeals to claim their constitutional rights after service but the Anambra State Government continued to turn blind eyes to their appeals. The elected representatives of the grassroots decided to stand up for their rights then chose to seek redress in court. Since their demands are constitutional rights of elected public officers, many had expected Governor Willie Obiano to find way and settle the councillors who worked for his election in 2014 but the Governor chose to hire Chief Onyebuchi Ikpeazu and fight his wards in the court. What surprises a lot is the fact that Anambra State Government public officers who served between 2014 and 2018 in Governor Willie Obiano’s first term have all received their severance packages including the governor. Many wonders why the governor and state government have continued to deny the councillors whose term ended in 2016 theirs.
As Court of Appeal begins to hear the case, observers are keen to see what next will be the action of Governor Willie Obiano, a papal knight of the church and a titled Chieftain of Igbo heritage.
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