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Ohanaeze Crisis Deepens Elders’ Council Defiles Court Order To Set Up Caretaker Committee

Ignatius Okpara, Enugu – The leadership crisis currently rattling the apex Igbo socio-cultural body, Ohanaeze Ndigbo worsened on Sunday as members of the Elders Council and other stake holders drawn from all the states that make up the organization, went ahead to set up a 19- member caretaker committee to run the affairs of the group.

The Council, had defiled a court order obtained by the Chief Gary Igariwey- led executive of the body, prohibiting the meeting and creation of any third party interests in its national executive.

But the Chief Mbazulike Amechi-led Elders Council, and the stakeholders had unanimously resolved that a caretaker committee will become operative from January 7th, next year, 2015.

African Examiner reports that Justice R.O Odugu, of the Enugu High Court had on Friday granted an interim order restraining Amaechi, his agents and others from “making further public statements, media publications or announcements and from further parading themselves either as chairman or executive of Ohanaeze Committee pending the determination of the case.

He fixed December 29, for further hearing on the matter.

However, the Elders’ Council and leaders of thought which met at the Zodiac Hotel, Enugu, Sunday mandated the 19- member caretaker committee “to conduct election into the executive position of the Igbo Umbrella body, strictly adopting the constitutional guidelines established for the spread of those positions among the five states of the southeast, Anioma and Rivers State”.

Besides, the committee was also asked to appoint, among others, a professional accounting body to audit the account of the association.

Although the meeting could not appoint any chairman for the 19-member committee, it resolved that the five states of the southeast, Anioma, in Delta and Rivers States, will contribute to its membership.

The council urged state chapters to recommend names to it within the next one week.

In his remarks, Amechi, stated that the committee had become inevitable, following the alleged disregard of the Igariwey-led executive to the constitutional provisions of Ohanaeze Ndigbo on the tenure of the elected executive.

He explained that the politics of the country in 2010 leading to the 2011 elections led to the extension of the tenure of the late Chief Ralph Uwaechue-led executive by another two years, stressing that the development did not in any way amount to tenure amendment as wrongly being claimed by the Igariwey-led executive.

“No one in his right mind will construe that development as constitutional amendment.

“It is purely on this premise that the current Ohanaeze Ndigbo executive is relying that there exists a constitutional amendment permitting the current executive to continue in office till 2017.

“The President General is mistaken to think so and most regrettably he, more than anyone else, has benefitted most in the confusion arising from the shoddy manner Ohanaeze Ndigbo has run its affairs in recent times”.

Present at the meeting were Presidential Candidate of the United Peoples Party (UPP), Chief Chekwas Okorie, veteran politician, Chief Ralph Obioha, former Anambra State governor, Dr Chris Ngige, Chief Enechi Onyia (SAN), Prof Ukwu .I. Ukwu.

Others are, the Traditional ruler of Oko community in Anambra state, professor Laz Ekwueme, Senator Offia Nwali, ex- secretary General of Ohaneze, Chief Nduka Eya, one time Director, National Orientation Agency, (NOA) Prof. Elochukwu Amuchezi, among other dignitaries.



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