By; VICTOR DURUAMAKU, Owerri.
Imo State Governor Chief Rochas Anayo Okorocha has since his announcement of proposed conduct of the long suspended local government elections in the state come under severe attack from some sections of the citizenry with the allegation that he is usurping the powers of the State Independent Electoral Commission (ISIEC).
An Owerri based human right activist and renowned lawyer, Barr. Wisdom Durueke in a statement saw the announcement of the conduct of the proposed council polls in the state as an aberration and a clear usurpation of the powers of the State Independent Electoral Commission (ISIEC).
According to him, the recent announcement by the State Executive Council (SEC) in respect of the proposed conduct of the election has no constitutional backup pointing out that the state executive council has no constitutional powers for the conduct of the local governments elections.
Barr. Durueke said the scheduling of the date and conduct of the local government elections is the prerogative of the State Independent Electoral Commission.
He however said that the recent announcement on the conduct of the election is illegal and portrays lack of independence on the part of the State Electoral Commission.
Durueke further said that this development raises serious doubt on the capacity and integrity of the state electoral body to conduct free and fair local government elections.
Also in line with the opinion of Barr Durueke, most stakeholders in the state believed that the state executive council has no constitutional right to fix the date and period of the conduct of the local government elections.
It would be recalled that early this September 2016, the state executive council through the state commissioner for information, Dr. Vitalis Ajumbe announced shortly at a press briefing shortly after the state executive council meetings that the local government election has been scheduled to hold in January 2017.