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Science Minister, Onu Rejects SUV Car Gift From Governor Umahi

By Ignatius Okpara, Abakaliki

EBONYI NIGERIA, (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Nigerian Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has rejected a Lexus Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) given to him by the Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi, as an elder statesman and founding father of the State.

The Minister rather demanded that the Governor should pay him his pension entitlements, instead of a car gift.

Onu in a letter referenced HMST/FMST/036/Vol.IV/595 and dated August 16, 2016, entitled: “Re-state recognition for an elder statesman”, addressed to the Governor, ‎regretted that the Ebonyi State House of Assembly in 2011 amended a law, specifically, to redefine the word ‘Governor’, as contained in its earlier enactment of 2007, just to exclude him from his constitutional benefit.

“I regret to inform Your Excellency that I cannot accept the gift of a Lexus Sport Utility Vehicle as conveyed in the letter under reference.

“I do so with a deep sense of responsibility and conscious of the important need to build a better Ebonyi State where respect for the rule of law and the peoples’ will as well as the pursuit of their happiness will remain sacred.”

Onu, a former Governor of Abia State, noted that it was in line with the provisions of Section 124(5) of the 1999 Constitution (as Amended) that the State Assembly in 2007 enacted a law titled the

He noted “Ebonyi State Specified Offices And Related Matters Law, 2007”, “Section 3,” which defined a Governor as “a civilian Governor of or from Ebonyi State of Nigeria.

“Rather curiously, four years later, the same House of Assembly enacted the ‘Ebonyi State Specified Offices Pensions and Related Matters (Amendement) Law 2011’ wherein a Governor was defined as: a civilian Governor of Ebonyi State of Nigeria.

“It is clear from the foregoing, Your Excellency, that I was the target of this scheme in an apparent design to deny me my due pension entitlements.

“This is especially so in the circumstance where it is the responsibility of the Ebonyi State Government to do so as a consequence of the sharing of assets and liabilities between Abia and Ebonyi states.

“You will recall that I had served as the first elected governor of Abia State, in which a part later became a constituent part of Ebonyi State.”

The soft-spoken Minister, who hails from same community Uburu with the Governor, however, implored Umahi, to initiate steps aimed at addressing and correcting the contradictions in the overall interest of fairness, justice and respect for the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

According to the Minister, “Laws are not made to suit personal prejudices, Laws are made to serve the enduring attributes of good conscience, honour and equity,”

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