By Chioma Uzochukwu & Chioma Okpala
Onitsha – Solicitor to the former executives of Electronics Dealers Association of Onitsha, EDAO, has appealed to Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State and Acting Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafix Ringim, to prevail on Chief Okechukwu Okoli’s led new executive of the association to unlock shops of members of the erstwhile executive in order to avert breakdown of law and order.
The solicitor, Mr. Casmir Chinedu Achi, made the call while addressing newsmen in his office at Awada, a surbub of Onitsha, weekend.
The crisis in the market had led the two parties to trade words over the kidnap of the new boss of the market association, whose executive accused leader of the former executive, Chief Joseph Ude, of masterminding the kidnap.
While the executive of the incumbent president is accusing the former executive of plotting and executing the kidnap, the former executive is alleging Okoli went into hiding ,claiming he was kidnapped, just to rope them into trouble.
Achi also exonorated his clients from the recent kipnap of Chief Okoli who was released penultimate Sunday, and asked the new executive of the market to stop taking laws into its hands by continuing to lock up the shops of members of the former executives, on the pretext of implementing the state government’s white paper on the crisis that had been rocking the market in the past four years.
“The continued locking of the shops of the former executives of the association may cause chaos and lawlessness in the market as tempers are high over the alleged intimidation of the former executive of the market,” said Achi.
He said the constitution under section 43 of 1999 categorically stated that every citizen had the constitutional right to own moveable and immovable property, stressing that the document frown on people taking laws into their hands by evicting others from where they occupied..
He said it was only by due process of law or by a court order that one could be forcefully ejected or thrown out of where he or she was occupying.
“Locking of peoples’ shops is unlawful, illegal and a violation of the citizen’s rights as enshrined in the constitution,” Achi said.
But reacting to the lawyer’s call, the new executive in a statement signed by Mr Philip Iheanacho and Chief Simon Nwankwo, First Vice President and General Secretary respectively, said the locked up shops were those acquired illegally by the former executives without paying for them when other traders who paid for shops had not been allocated one