By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—FORMER Governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, has threatened to lead a protest against the state government for denying high court judges of their earned salaries for 16 months.
Ohakim, who read the riot act weekend in Owerri while announcing his gubernatorial ambition to journalists, also gave Governor Rochas Okorocha up to the end of next month, to clear the judges salaries or risk the protest.
“None of the arms of government is superior to the other. I have personally written to the Chief Justice of Nigeria and President Muhammadu Buhari on this ugly development. I really don’t understand why judges should be denied their salaries because government has consistently lost it’s very bad cases brought before the courts”, Ohakim said.
While lamenting that the President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Pius I. Okpara, died in office without getting his emoluments, Chief Ohakim also fumed that the lives of most of the judges are in danger, as they can no longer pay their medical bills.
“Judges are not expected to engage in any money yielding venture while serving. Government should not expect to be saved by the judges when it brazenly flouts the rule of law. For now, judgment debts of over N9 billion is hanging on the neck of Imo State Government”, Ohakim said.
The former governor noted that with the uncoordinated destruction of business premises and markets, the Imo economy has collapsed.