Managing Director of Chicotas Nigeria limited, Deacon Uchendu Aharaonye is not happy with the turn of events at the moment. His unhappiness stems from the fact that Aba South Local Government has disobeyed the Court Judgement order given in his favour over the Revenue Contract agreement his company entered into with the LGA in 2014.
The matter which lasted for four years at Abia State High Court presided over by Hon Justice Onuoha K Ogwe, Chief Judge of Abia State ruled in his favour, to the effect that Chicotas Nigeria limited has special performance to execute the contract agreement entered into within the year under review.
But sadly, Aba South Local Government under Hon Cherechi Nwogu and the Principal officers of the council and in flagrant disobedience of a valid court Order of Competent jurisdiction are behaving as if they are above the law.
Deacon Uchendu Ahuruonye is therefore calling on Hon Cherechi Nwogu led Aba South LGA to stop harassing his workers and allow him execute the contract entered into with his company since 2014 to the fullest, considering that the Court has also ruled in his favour over the protracted legal dispute.
Speaking to newsmen in an interview at Aba, MD of Chicotas Ltd, Deacon Ahuruonye said on January 1st, 2014 that his company was awarded a revenue contract to collect Revenue in Aba South LGA when Chief David Otumdi Kanu was the Chairman of the said Council.
He added that the agreement of the contract took effect on 1st January, 2014 for a period of 12 months, but regretted that on July 19th, 2014 when Chief Otumdi Kanu’s tenure came to an end and Dr NCNC Okoli (Macro) was sworn in as Chairman of Aba South LGA, few months into execution of the signed contract and with the appointment of a new Transition Committee Chairman, Dr Okoli started causing problem for his workers.
He said he wrote a petition against him to the then Inspector General of Police which took him to Abuja where they arrested and detained him.
On release, he proceeded to court for redress in 2015 and Abia State High Court Holden at Umuahia Division gave ruling in his favour.
According to him, the judgement order was to the effect that Chicotas Ltd has power of specific performance of 2014 Revenue contract for 2020 in Aba South LGA. The ruling was presided by Hon Justice Onuoha K Ogwe, the Chief Judge of Abia State on 26th June,2019.
However, on 10th October, 2019, Chicotas Ltd was said to have served Aba South Local Government a copy of judgement order obtained from Abia State High Court of Justice presided by Hon Justice O. K Ogwe, the Chief Judge of Abia State.
Immediately, the then TC Chairman, Dr NCNC Okoli convened an emergency Finance, and General Purpose Committee, FG&PC meeting to discuss the judgement order and decided to obey the court order and in effect signed a memorandum of Understanding Mou with the Revenue Contractor to ensure that the Council obeys the said court order.
Unfortunately, this is not so in the instant case, as Hon Cherechi Nwogu led TC Chairman and the Principal officers of the Council are said not to be willing to obey the court order.
The embattled Revenue Contractor noted with dismay that Aba South LGA disobeyed the Court order with impunity through issuance of authority to other contractors to execute same contract awarded to him which is yet to expire and with constant harassment and beating up of his workers in the field.
He further told newsmen that his life is now in danger as some officers of the Council are threatening his life, boasting that nothing will happen because they are in government, adding that he is now in a hapless situation as the bank he borrowed money to execute the contract is on his neck.
The embattled MD of Chicotas wondered why Abia South LGA under Hon Chief Cherechi Nwogu should disobey order of the court of competent jurisdiction and allow his company execute the contract agreement to the fullest.
He added that on 21st November,2019, Aba South LGA, during the tenure of Dr NCNC Okoli gave his company a go ahead orders to exhaust the contract agreement in line with the court verdict through a Memorandum of Understanding (Mou) duly signed.
MD of Chicotas Nigeria limited also wondered why Zone 9 Police Command should release the three suspects arrested without Bond and why the “POS Machines” citing Covid19 as reason why they were released.
As a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic party in the state, Deacon Aharaonye wondered why the ruling party in Abia, he invested so heavily should be treating (him) their fellow party member in this manner, while insisting that well-meaning Abians should call the Aba South Local Government Chairman, Cherechi Nwogu to order to obey the Court Judgement order, and allow him execute the contract awarded his company which ends in 2020 fiscal year.
When contacted through his phone line, the Transition Committee Chairman of Aba South Local Government, Chief Cherechi Nwogu said that the matter is before the court and cannot speak on the matter, but would later refer Journalists to his Lawyer who never spoke at the time of filling this report.
Meanwhile, Dr NCNC Okoli predecessor in a telephone interview admitted that the council signed the said agreement with the contractor upon receipt of the court judgement, wondering why his successor should disobey the Order of a court of competent jurisdiction. He added that this is not fair to the man.
Speaking to Journalists in an interview, counsel to the Revenue Contractor, Barr O. C Odionye punctured the claims of the TC Chairman that the matter is before the court, saying that the court is yet to allow the Aba South LGA file a motion of Appeal.
He revealed that the court dismissed the stay of execution Order filed by the Respondents because they did not file within the specific time they ought to have done so.
He disclosed that the Chairman of the council is frustrating his client to ensure his tenure expires without executing the order.
Meanwhile, Aba Urban Youth Movement (AUYM) has said the disobedience to court Order by Aba South LGA depicts Political rascality, administrative recklessness, civic irresponsibility and legal ignorance at its apogee.
In a statement signed by Raymond Ahuchogu and Peter Okere on behalf of the group which was made available to newsmen, Aba Urban Youth Movement said that “nobody is above the law”, noting that disobedience to court Order amounts to contempt of court which attracts committal to prison.
The group further said that “Aba South LGA can no longer revoke the 2014 Revenue Contract agreement between her and Chicotas Nigeria limited because it has come under Judiciary and so beyond the powers of Aba South LGA.