Enugu Assembly Commences Impeachment Process against Deputy Governor
The Enugu State House of Assembly yesterday commenced impeachment proceedings against the Deputy Governor, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi, over allegations of gross misconduct in the performance of his functions.
In a sitting that lasted less than an hour, which had all the lawmakers in attendance, the House passed a motion directing the Clerk of the House, Christopher Chukwurah, to serve the embattled deputy governor the impeachment notice.
However, only 22 out of the 24 legislators all of whom are in the PDP, including Governor Sullivan Chime and the embattled Deputy Governor signed the notice of impeachment.
The house in the notice alleged that the deputy governor had between February 2013 and February 2014 wrongfully deployed the resources of his office and exercises the powers thereof to resist and ridicule the implementation of the Public Health Policy of the state.
Onyebuchi was accused of violating the resolution of the House, which prohibits the maintenance and operation of commercial livestock and poultry farms within residential neighbourhoods in Enugu metropolis in promotion of public health standards.
“Notwithstanding the said resolution, he continued to maintain and operate a commercial poultry farm within the premises of his official residential quarters and further refused to carry out the directives of the relevant officials of the government who visited his premises to monitor compliance with the resolution.
“When the government relocated the birds and cleared the premises of the noxious stench emanating therefrom, he wrongfully deployed the resources and powers of his office to invite the press and openly castigated the government and his officials, thereby impugning and denigrating the authority and office of the governor and embarrassing the government,” they alleged.
On disobedience to lawful directives, he was accused of habitually refusing, failing and neglecting to carry out or perform the functions of his office as directed by the governor pursuant to section 193 (1) of the constitution without any excuse.
He was specifically accused of not attending the commencement ceremony of the construction of the Second Niger Bridge in Onitsha by President Goodluck Jonathan on March 11, 2014, as well as the meeting of the South-east Governors’ Forum, which held at the Enugu Government House on Sunday 6, July 2014 despite the express directives of the governor to represent him at both functions.
“The Deputy Governor persists in his defiance or lawful directives issued to him by the governor, which has adversely affected and will continue to affect the smooth running of the government and he will continue to do so if not removed from office,” the notice read.
Speaking shortly after directing the Clerk to serve the impeachment notice on the deputy governor, the speaker said further debate on the document would be made when the deputy governor formally responds to the allegations against him in the spirit of fair hearing.
As at the time of filing this report, the deputy governor was said to have travelled to Abuja, apparently to meet with prominent indigenes of the state to see the possibility of lobbying his way out of his present predicament.
However, in a swift reaction to the impeachment notice served on his deputy, Governor Sullivan Chime yesterday said he had given the deputy governor the option of resigning from his position before the commencement of the impeachment proceedings against him by the House of Assembly.
Chime said before the problem between him and his deputy blew open, he had tolerated a whole lot from him all in a bid to protect “our common family, called the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)”.
He said rather than possibly accept the option of resigning and show remorse over his activities, the deputy governor remained defiant.
He said his deputy had severally engaged in acts aimed at undermining him as a governor, but he decided to turn a blind eye to his activities in the overall interest of the state.
He also noted that only recently, the deputy governor had assembled some council chairmen and warned them not to take instructions from him (governor) since “I had barely one year to leave office”.
“By the time I open my mouth, everybody will be shocked to know what has been happening between my deputy and I in the past years. It has actually come to a point where we need to know who actually the boss is because we can no longer work together.
“Let the House of Assembly do their job and see if indeed he is fit to remain as the deputy governor of the state. How can I ask my deputy to represent me in a meeting of the South-east Governors’ Forum where the deputy governors of Anambra represented his governor; I think the deputy governor of Imo State also represented his governor and my own chose to go and play football saying that he was not informed,” he said.
He also dismissed insinuations that the impeachment proceedings had anything to do with the deputy governor’s rumoured senatorial ambition for Enugu East senatorial seat.
“What’s the link? We are saying he has refused to do his work and even had to tell me to my face that what is happening to him is because of his ambition. My brother, let me tell you clearly that it has no link. He has been going round Abuja telling people all manners of things, but by the time I open up, Nigerians will know that nobody else could take what I’ve taken from him,” he said.
Stay updated with Abusidiqu.com, in partnership with NIGERIANEWSBEAT. Follow us on TWITTER or be our fan on FACEBOOK
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
To contact Abusidiqu.com for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to email@example.com