By Steve Oko
The opposition All Progressive Grand Alliance APGA has accused the Abia State Government of an attempt to gag its only lawmaker and member representing Aba South State constituency in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Obinna Ichita.
This is following the court injunction secured against the lawmaker by the State Director of
NEWMAP Project, Mr Izuchukwu Onwughara, on behalf of himself and the State Government.
APGA in a press statement by its State Chairman, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, claimed that the lawmaker is being persecuted because he “has consistently questioned the whereabouts of the N27.4 billion that Abia State Government received from the World Bank for construction works in Aba”.
The party condemned what it called “desperate attempts by the Abia State Government to use the machinery of the State to harass, intimidate and obstruct Hon. Obinna Ichita, from performing his constitutional and legislative functions as a legislator.”
The statement read in part: “One of these desperate machinations is the gross abuse of power as witnessed a few days ago when the State Government through her agents and cronies used one Izuchukwu Onwughara, a civil servant to secure an interim injunction against Hon. Obinna Ichita.
“It will be expedient to inform Abians and the whole world that it is very undemocratic and against best democratic practices that the government of Abia State will resort to using the instrumentality of the Executive to stop the legislature, which is another arm of the government from performing its legislative functions.
“APGA queries why an ordinary civil servant will file a suit on behalf of the State Government when the office of the Attorney General is there as the Chief Law Officer of the State and who is the only constitutionally recognized officer to institute any legal proceedings on behalf of the Government.
“This clandestine plan and exhibition of gross abuse of power have further exposed the State Government on her desperation to stifle, strangle and emasculate the voice of opposition in Abia State, which all Abians must resist and condemn.
“He has consistently queried why Government has refused to construct roads in his constituency which includes Obohia, Ngwa Road, Ohanku, Port Harcourt roads etc, even when the State Government admitted receiving the funds for the constructions of these roads.
“APGA wants to state here that it is very pathetic that one Vitalis Ibeanu died at Port Harcourt road Aba last week as a result of uncontrollable flood occasioned by the messy and chaotic state of the road.
“APGA, therefore, wants to inform the whole world that the State Government is employing undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional strategies with the sole aim of frustrating Hon. Obinna Ichita, the only APGA voice in the Abia State House of Assembly from performing his constitutional and legislative duties”.
The party, therefore, called on “members of the press, civil society organizations, human rights activists, lawyers, activists for good governance and all lovers of democracy in Abia State and Nigeria to rise up to this challenge in one voice”.
APGA vowed to “resist every evil plan to stifle the voice of opposition in the state as opposition remains a veritable tool for the advancement of our democracy”.