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Crisis Looms in Onitsha Head Market as Traders and Union Entangle Over EXCO Election

Ignatius Okpara, Onitsha

Tension has mounted at the Bridge head market, Onitsha, Anambra state over scores of traders who have threatened a showdown with the leadership of the market on its alleged plot to disenfranchise more than 1500 of its members in the forthcoming union election.

Onitsha-Police-MA-480x343African Examiner gathered that the looming crisis emanated from leadership tussle in the market which led to constitution of a caretaker committee by the administration of former state Governor, Peter Obi. The market has his history of violent and bloody elections.

However, the alleged plot had led to a legal action instituted by one of the aggrieved traders, Sir Peter Okala seeking court injunction to stop the proposed market election on the ground that it was aimed at sidelining the traders.

Okala, who approached the State High Court, sitting in Onitsha, in suit No. 0/745/2014, sought an interlocutory injunction to stop the proposed exercise pending the determination of the substantive suit which sought to get interpretation of non adherence to the market constitution as relating to conduct of election in the market.

In written a affidavit supported with the constitution of the market constitution, counsel to the plaintiff, Mr. Chibuike Nwabueze drew the attention of the court to what they described as impending doom in the conduct of the market election if the issues sought by Okala are not addressed.

They also sought injunction restraining the State Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the caretaker committee chairman Chief Emeka Orizu and  chairman of Anambra Amalgamated Traders Association, AMATAS, Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo from conducting election scheduled for june 30,into the Executive committee of the market pending the determination of the substantive suit.

Visibly angry presiding Justice Agbata of Anambra State High Court 1 while ruling on the matter, cautioned against possible breakdown of law and order.





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