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Court sacks Onitsha Bridge-Head Market PG

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By Phil Okose, Onitsha

An Onitsha, Anambra state, High Court, presided over by Hon. Justice B. A. Onyefulu, Thursday sacked the President-General of Onitsha Bridge-Head Markets Association, Mr.Sunday Obinze.

The sack of Obinze was sequel to a suit filed by three sectional market unions in the market that included, Scientific Surgical Equipment and Allied Products Dealers Association, Wood Works

Traders Association and Chainsaw and Allied Products Dealers Association for allegedly sidelining the three major unions and their non-participation in the 2019 market election that produced Obinze.

Obinze’s position was nullified on the basis of contempt of court order not to go ahead with the election that produced him as the market boss for a second term in office.

He had allegedly violated a court order that cautioned against the election based on a suit by some parties, Chain Saw and Allied Products Dealers Association and others, led by Chief Peter Okala, a former market union leader who claimed before the court that the purported market election was not conducted in conformity with the market constitution.

Justice Onyefulu who frowned at the flagrant abuse of court rulings set aside the election which he noted was not in conformity with the Bridge-Head Market Constitution.

Counsel to the petitioner, Barr. Chukwuma Oguejiofor, maintained that, with the disrespect and disregard for a court of competent jurisdiction, the embattled market leader was a security threat to the society.

Reacting shortly after the court session, Okala, described the court decision as “sound and comprehensive.”

He called on all major stakeholders to continue to work for peace and progress of the large market.

In a press briefing, shortly after the judgment, Board of Trustees (BOT) chairman of the market, Chief Emeka Ilonze, and the secretary, Mr. Chukwudi  Ekwueme, said that, following the judgment, the BOT members were now protected by law to assume duties as new executives of the market to avoid leadership vacuum.

The new market leaders assured traders of a widely acceptable election as soon as the Anambra state government was notified of the new development and promised to continue to work with the state government in the area of revenue generation and accountability while in office.

Following the recent court order, the market Board of Trustees (BOT) is expected to take charge of the market affairs pending an acceptable election the market.

Okala said that the court victory had vindicated him and his colleagues and that the election that produced the former chairman was a kangaroo election which he noted did not enjoy the support of traders and major stakeholders in the market.

He noted that, with the court victory, it had shown that Anambra traders, especially those from the Bridge-Head section believed in the rule of law and the supremacy of the law.

He maintained that, having been patient for years without resorting to violence, he had shown that the traders of the market were law abiding and had faith  in the judiciary as the last hope of the

common man.

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