A former National Publicity Secretary of the New Peoples Democratic Party, nPDP, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, has lashed out at the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, over the demolition of a hotel in the State for allegedly flouting the coronavirus lockdown orders.
We reported that Wike had on Sunday demolished Prodest (Prudent) Hotel at Alode in Eleme Local Government Area of the state.
Eze, in a statement to DAILY POST on Monday, noted that the Governor has continued in the web of massive power drunkenness and executive recklessness in the discharge of his functions especially, in his purported fight against COVID-19.
Eze, a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, said he was worried over the safety of Rivers people, especially the less privileged whose sources of livelihood have been grossly affected by the governor’s acts of ”horrendous rascality.”
He noted that the governor now sees himself as a natural ruler administering over a police state.
Describing the governor’s action as anarchical, the party Chief said the deliberate sufferings meted out on Rivers people on a daily basis was a pointer to the fact that Wike was forcefully imposed on Rivers people by evil forces who do not mean well for the state,
stressing that no democratic leader installed through the instrumentality of the ballot can be so draconian, heartless and inconsiderate to the plights of the electorates whom he claimed voted him into office.
Eze frowned at the demolition of hotels and auctioning of cars belonging to alleged defaulters of the governor’s executive orders, saying that Gov. Wike acted beyond his bounds; citing Section 36 (12) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), where it was settled that offenses and penalty for any offense must be clearly stated in a written law.
For further guidance, Eze tasked the governor to take a thorough perusal of the case of FAITH V GOVERNOR OF LAGOS STATE & ANOTHER (2016) LPELR-41066 (CA), where the governor of Lagos State issued a directive inhibiting movement of citizens during the monthly environmental sanitation exercise,
and the Court of Appeal, in a unanimous judgment held that the Appellant could not be arrested or prosecuted for non-compliance with an Executive Order of the Governor of Lagos State because the offence was not prescribed in a written law and was, therefore, unknown to law.
Drawing inference from the above constitutional provision and case law, the APC chieftain queried the foundation upon which the governor’s ultra vires actions are anchored.
He further pointed to Section 1 (3) of the Constitution where it was expressly stated thus: “if any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail and that other law shall to the extent of its inconsistency be void”.
Eze referred the governor to Section 5 of the Quarantine Act which provides for a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or a fine of N200 or both as punishment for defaulters of the Act.
“The obvious implication of that section is that defaulters of any regulation made by the President or Governor of a state to curtail infectious disease is liable to a fine of N200 or a term of imprisonment for six months or both and nothing more. It is, therefore, disturbing to learn that Gov. Wike has arrogated to himself more powers outside the limit prescribed in the Quarantine Act.
“There is, therefore, no law empowering the governor to confiscate or order the confiscation of goods or demolition of any house or houses belonging to defaulters under the Quarantine Act because Section 5 of the said Act already provides for punishment for offenders.
“It, therefore, amounts to executive rascality and sheer recklessness for Wike to confiscate and auction properties and demolish structures merely because their owners violated an order which punishment the law already provides,” Eze’s statement said.
Eze pleaded that with a conquered State House of Assembly and a silenced traditional rulers, the Elites and Elders of Rivers State, “should assist the State by speaking up against the evil that has bedeviled the State to avoid the current state where Wike has turned the State into a laughingstock.”
Eze wonders, “where are the elders of Rivers State, the Abiye Sekibos, Chief Emeh Glory Emehs, Chief Sergeant Awuses, Hon Austin Oparas, Chief OCJ Okochas.
Source: News update