Imo Assembly Lawmakers Plot to Impeach Gov Okorocha If…
The gale of impeachment which has dominated the political space inNigeria in the past few weeks may be rearing its ugly head in Imo State, as it has emerged the Imo State lawmakers may commence impeachment proceedings against Governor Rochas Okorocha next Thursday.
However, while, the impeachment of Murtala Nyako and the ongoing impeachment proceedings against Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State bothers on financial misappropriation, that of Rochas Okorocha is said to be based on the alleged withholding of the outstanding salaries and allowances of the lawmakers since 2011, among other grievances.
A close aide of one of the lawmakers confirmed that before the current threat, the lawmakers had been having series of meetings on how to make Okorocha pay them their salary arrears, adding that the build up was concluded Friday, July 25, 2014.
The lawmakers are said to have vowed not to accept any payment which is not inform of cash, adding that “if the speaker stands in the way, he would be bulldozed along with the governor.”
When anxious journalists contacted the Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to the Governor on Media, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, he dismissed the allegation, saying Okorocha had a good relationship with members of the state assembly.
“There is no iota of truth that such a thing was in the offing. You can verify from the assembly members.
“The state government has a good working relationship with them and I don’t think anybody is plotting any impeachment. How can they impeach a governor who is performing. It’s not true my brother,” he said.
Governor Okorocha had however earlier alleged that the state lawmakers had been induced in several failed attempts by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to impeach him.
He alleged that 26 out of the 27 members of the Imo State House of Assembly were brought to Abuja and given N100Million each to impeach him.
Reacting also, the House Committee Chairman on Information, Mr. Acho Ihim, dismissed the alleged impeachment plot, describing it as “baseless and malicious”.
Ihim, however, confirmed the disparity in the salary of the current lawmakers and the former ones, adding that “during the last administration of Chief Ikedi Ohakim, the House took a loan and it was deducted monthly from the salary of the lawmakers so when we came in, the Clerk of the House was changed and the new one who was ignorant of any such deductions, started paying with the records he met on ground.
“When it was discovered, we quickly wrote the governor who promised to reverse to the constitutional rate and he has started doing that.
“For instance, we were paid normal salary for the month of June. The governor is ready to pay, all he is asking for is a little time because the money is much. It is about N18 million per lawmaker,” Ihim explained.
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