A High Court in Owerri, Imo State, stopped the swearing-in of Mr. Calistus Ekenze as the new deputy governor for the state on Tuesday.
The court issued an interim order stopping the swearing-in ceremony after it was approached by Mr Eze Madumere who is challenging his impeachment as deputy governor of the state.
Top government officials had gathered for two hours at the Sam Mbakwe Exco Chambers inside the Government House in Owerri for the swearing-in when the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Miletus Nlemadim, announced that the state government had complied with a fresh order from the court preventing the Chief Judge of the state, Pascal Nnadi, from swearing-in Mr Ekenze.
According to the Attorney-General, the state government is law-abiding and respects the rule of law and as such obeyed the court order.
He, however, explained that the state government is doing everything possible to vacate the order to enable the state government to swear in Ekenze on a future date.
Meanwhile, the state Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has urged all parties to be calm and obey the court order to prevent any breakdown of law and order in the state.
The Imo State House of Assembly impeached Mr Madumere on Monday when 19 out of 27 members backed his removal.
According to the Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Acho Ihim, Mr Madumere’s impeachment followed the report of a seven-man panel, constituted by the Chief Judge of the state to investigate allegations of gross misconduct.
Immediately after, the Speaker read a letter from Governor Okorocha nominating Ekenze, the Head of Service in the state, as the new deputy governor.