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Ebonyi: Rift Between Gov. Elechi And Anyim Escalates As State Lawmakers Sack LGA Chiefs, Others

Anyim and Elechi

IGNATIUS OKPARA, Abakaliki – The ongoing cold war between Governor Martin Elechi of Ebonyi state, and secretary to government of the Federation (SGF), Pius Anyim, on Tuesday took a new twist as members of the state Assembly loyal to the SGF sacked all the council chairmen appointed by the governor.

Anyim and Elechi

Anyim and Elechi

African Examiner reports that the State House of Assembly, had through a resolution during its sitting, dissolved the caretaker committee chairmen of the13 local government areas, and the 28 newly appointed coordinators of the Development Centres in the state.

The House, which sat with 18 out of 24 members within a few minutes, also demanded that the Governor should submit details of the state financial accounts to it.

According to the lawmakers, such account must specify the total amount the state received from the statutory monthly federal allocations, the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and funds gotten from international donor agencies, among others.

The required information they said, must reach the Assembly on Friday, January 9, 2015.

Besides, the legislators equally directed that membership of boards and parastatals of government remain dissolved.

Ruling on the motion earlier, Speaker of the House Chief Chukwuma Nwazunku, had noted that the constitution of the caretaker committees and coordinators were unconstitutional.

“This House also orders the immediate dissolution of the reconstituted boards of the State Local Government Service Commission, Universal Basic Education Board, Secondary Education Board, among others.”

He pointed out that they were not against the governor making appointments “but what we are contending is that the appointments did not pass though the constitutional House screening”,

The Speaker added that the governor, after the dissolution, could still reappoint them and present them for screening.

“The state government should submit to the House, all details of the federal allocation, internally generated revenue and all funds accruable to the state from January1 to December31, 2014.

“The dissolved caretaker committees should submit all relevant government’s documents in their possession to the Head of Personnel

Management (HPM) before close of work on Tuesday while the governor should submit the financial details before Jan.9, 2015.”

He noted that the House was also inviting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and other anti-graft agencies while the state Commissioner of Police should ensure that all government properties at the disposal of the deposed persons, are recovered and protected,” he said.

The motion for the dissolution of the caretaker committee chairmen was moved by Obasi Odefa (PDP Onicha East) and seconded by Mr. Chris Usulor (PDP-Ezza South) while that of the financial details was moved by Mr. Frank Onwe (Ohaukwu North) and seconded by Mr. Ogbonnia Nwifuru (Izzi-West).

But in a swift reaction shortly, Governor Elechi, through his chief press secretary (CPS), Dr. Onyekachi Eni, urged caretaker chairmen and coordinators to go about their businesses, as the House’s resolution was merely advisory, which the executive may take or reject.

The governor also stated that all the issues the House passed resolution on are subjects of litigation, and called on the citizens of the state to remain calm as the state government would take necessary action to address the issues.

He said: “First is to say that we have enormous respect for the members of Ebonyi State House of Assembly being an important arm of government. And on account of that respect we are surprised by the action they have taken by way of a resolution seeking to dissolve the local government caretaker committee chairmen, boards etc”

“The first is that resolutions are not laws; a resolution is a persuasive communication which emanates from the House of Assembly to the executive seeking that certain things be done.

“And being persuasive, resolutions are advisory in nature and as we all know advice can be taken or rejected, so in this case their advice to the governor or to the executive arm is noted” Elechi said.

“Having said that, we also note that the issues that they are raising are within the province of the executive arm or government.

“The duty of the House of Assembly is to make law for the good governance of the state, in the State House of Assembly or in the nation for the federal legislature, and not to now get into the executive line of duty which is what the House is seeking to do in this case.”


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