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Confusion in Enugu as Assembly moves to impeach Governor Chime

Governor Sullivan Chime
Governor Sullivan Chime

Madu Ezenoha, Enugu

The crisis of confidence between Governor Sullivan Chime and Enugu State House of Assembly deepened Monday as a group of 14 lawmakers, led by the Speaker, Eugene Odo commenced the process of impeaching the Governor.

However a group of nine lawmakers loyal to Governor Chime in a bid to counter the move held a parallel sitting where they suspended the speaker and other lawmakers.

Chime’s impeachment was hinged on what the group of 14 lawmakers described as alleged gross misconduct.

They also accused the governor of forging the N12 billion 2012 Supplementary Budget, as well as disregarding due process in the award of N13billion workers secretariat, adding that the contract had been inflated to N21 billion without recourse to the House.

The impeachment notice was signed by 14 members of the House including the speaker.

The Clerk of the House, Christopher Chukwurah was directed to serve the notice on the governor immediately.

The Deputy Speaker, Chime Oji who was recently elected to represent Enugu North/South Federal Constituency, Hon. Emeka  Ogbuabor and Deputy House Leader,  John Kevin Ukuta were suspended at the sitting for alleged anti-House activities

The speaker and the 13 members found their way into the legislative chamber at 6.28 am and held the sitting after defying attempt by the police to prevent them from gaining entry into the Assembly complex.

Following complaints by the speaker, the police men were ordered to allow them into the House.

The lawmakers had complained that the governor was using some members of the House to disrupt the activities of the House for refusing to approve the N11 billion loan requested by the governor.

But at 7.05am the suspended Deputy Speaker and six other members of the House including the Deputy Governor-elect, Hon. Cecilia Ezeilo walked into the chambers with another mace and  conducted another sitting. One member later joined them.

After a short prayer, Hon. John Kevin Ukuta, who was also suspended by the Odo-led group moved a motion that Hon. Johnbull Nwagu who was suspended by the House last week should be recalled and Hon. Chinedu Nwamba seconded the motion.

The Chime group of lawmakers, however, lifted the suspension slammed on Nwagu for misconduct and invited him to join the group bringing their number to nine.

Hon. Ukuta thereafter moved another motion calling for the suspension of the Speaker Eugene Odo and seven other members in his group including Anichukwu Nwankwo, Okechukwu Nwoke, Paul Ogbe, Nze Michael Onyeze, Chika Eneh, Theresa Egbo and S.K.E Udo-Okoye.  The motion was approved by the nine members.

The principal officers among the suspended were also stripped of their positions and benefits.

Ukuta further moved for the nomination of other colleagues to fill the vacancies created by the suspension and nominated Chinedu Nwamba, representing Nsukka East constituency to be sworn in as Speaker of the House.

The motion was approved and Chinedu Nwamba was sworn in as Speaker of the G-9.

It will be recalled that the House had before now refused to approve N11 billion loan request from the state government even as it also cancelled concession of the state water corporation to a private firm, rejected allocation of lands in some places and froze the accounts of Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board.

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