Gov. Nyesom Wike has continued to be caught in the web of massive power drunkenness and executive recklessness in the discharge of his functions especially, in his purported fight against Covid-19 since the emergence and spread of the pandemic in the country.
Worried over the safety of Rivers people, especially the less privileged whose sources of livelihood has been grossly affected by the governor's acts of horrendous rascality, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and former National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People's Democratic Party (nPDP), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, said the governor now sees himself as a natural ruler administering over a police state.
Describing the arbitrary excercise of power as anarchical, the party Chief said the deliberate sufferings meted out on Rivers people on daily basis is pointer and justifies 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 plight of the electorates whom he claimed voted him into office.
Frowning at the demolition of hotels and auctioning of cars belonging to alleged defaulters of the governor's executive orders, Chief Eze said 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 offences and penalty for any offence must be clearly stated in a written law.
He reminded the governor that the Constitution is the
*fons et origo;* the origin and source from whence every other laws derive their validity.
For further guidance, Eze tasked the governor 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 movements of citizens during the monthly environmental sanitation exercise, and the Court of Appeal, in a unanimous judgement 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 is not prescribed in a written law and is therefore unknown to law
Drawing inference from the afore cited Constitutional provision and case law, Chief Eze 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 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 bedevilled the State to avoid the current state where Wike has turned the State into a laughing stock.
Eze wonders where are the elders of Rivers State and cried asking where are the Abiye Sekibos, Chief Emeh Glory Emehs, Chief Sergeant Awuses, Hon Austin Oparas, Chief OCJ Okochas. Where are you Olaka Nwogu, Uche Secondus, Chief Anyawu. What about Tele Ikuru, Felix Obua, Celestine Omehia, Thompson Sekibo, Lee Maeba, K. K. Kobani and a host of others who conspired to foist Wike on Rivers people?
Where are the Dr Peter Odilis, President Goodluck Jonathans, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba that imposed this man on Rivers State? You must all be feeling guilty, disappointed and disgraced by the governor's ill-bred and untutored actions against Rivers people.
Eze queried the whereabout of the academics in the PDP and those serving in the government; Prof. Ebeku, Prof. Mmom, Prof. Adango, Prof. Didia, Prof. Ndimele, Prof. Onuchukwu and others. Gov. Wike has indeed made nonsense of their academic attainments and they must all have hidden their faces in shame.
Chief Eze called on the few with conscience working with the governor not to die in silence, but speak up in defence of the people and or resign to save their conscience from imminent death, stressing that posterity will not forgive them if they continue to accept to be stocked like pieces of furniture and watch Rivers people continue to go through the dehumanizing and melancholic condition the governor has subjected them.
Chief Eze Expressed disappointment over the indolence of the Attorney General of the state whose responsibility it is to tutor the governor on issues touching on law to reduce constant exhibition of ignorance and crass cluelessness in the public space particularly now that the Governor have lost and forgotten all that he was taught in the Law School.
He tasked the Attorney General to return from slumber land and save the governor from further embarrassing blunder which has already painted the government as one lacking in men who are stocked with the requisite knowledge in law and practice.
He said the state Attorney General must not see himself as the governor's puppet, always there to receive orders and prohibitions without making any meaningful impact as such does not speak well of a man of his status in the academia, but only makes mockery of his professorial attainment in law.
He appealed to Rivers people to remain calm, assuring that the challenges will definitely fizzle out.
Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
APC Chieftain & former National Publicity Secretary, nPDP