A former governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim, has threatened to protest n*ked against the non-payment of judges in the state, adding that the high court judges had not been paid for about 16 months, while describing the situation as ‘scandalous.’
According to The Guardian, the former governor alleged that the state government had also failed to pay about N7 billion, which the courts ordered it to be paid to those concerned. He said unless the issue was resolved, his protest would hold along Wethdral Road, Owerri, the state capital, especially as he has no pending case in the courts.
The inlfuential politician who disclosed his plans in an interview with journalist at his residence in Prefab, Owerri, the state capital, said he could not watch as the judges continue to suffer or die because of their inability to afford hospital bills. Ohakim said he was using the media to inform the Inspector General of Police; Idris Abubakar about his planned protest, which, he said, would hold in March 2018.
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He said he had written to Governor Rochas Okorocha on the matter, and also asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chief Justice of Nigeria to intervene urgently.
Attempts to confirm the government’s reaction were unsuccessful. Several calls made to the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, including text messages were not answered, hours before filing this report.
Ohakim said: “A governor is not bigger than the judiciary. For one year and four months, no judge in Imo State has received a kobo as salary. They are being intimidated, as some are often called into a room and warned.
“Unfortunately, no body wants to speak for these judges. But, I want to congratulate the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for instituting legal action against Okorocha’s administration on the issue.”