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Enugu State Governor Dismisses Impeachment Moves Against Him

FROM IGNATIUS OKPARA, Enugu – Enugu state Governor, Sullivan Chime has dismissed as “an exercise in futility” the moves by a faction of the State House of Assembly led by the embattled Speaker, Eugene Odoh and 14 others to commence impeachment process against him.

He said that the action would not see the light of the day.

Reacting to the purported impeachment notice served him by the Odoh, led faction of the House, on Monday, the governor, described as false the insinuations in some quarters, saying nobody served him any notice.

He explained that he had rather received communication from the Clerk of the House, Christian Chukwurah, to the effect that a leadership change had taken place in the Assembly with Hon. Chinedu Nwamba emerging as the new speaker.

Chime added that the move by the group of 14 lawmakers, did not comply with the provisions of section 188 of the nation’s constitution which deals with how a governor or deputy governor can be removed from office, noting that with the action coming about three weeks to the end of his tenure was not only targeted at causing mischief but was malicious.

His words: “Looking at the provisions of the constitution, they have clearly not complied with it.

“By the time the required number articulate the allegations against me, the speaker is required by law to within 7 days to cause a notice to be served on me.

“Sitting in the early hours of Monday to me was rubbish. I’ve not been served any notice of allegations, which simply means, they’ve not activated any action yet.

“More so, with the spate of suspensions and counter-suspensions, I don’t think they can even get the required two-third, what this simply means is that the matter is dead on arrival.

“By the time you look through the constitution, you will discover the number of months it will take them to carry out that exercise.

“Maybe, am not really the one they are going to investigate, Perhaps, they are looking at the incoming government because by May 29, I will be out of this place, that is the folly in what they have set out to do.

“In their desperation, they over-looked due process. I can easily see what they are doing as a failed bid to investigate the governor.  I’ve taken time to give these details because by tomorrow now, you will hear that the Chief Judge has refused to set up panel. Let them hear it now that no CJ will listen to them,” he said.

On the alleged forgery of the 2012 Supplementary budget to the tune of N12 billion, the governor dismissed the lawmakers’ claims explaining that all the budgets of the state from the inception of his administration till date are public document.

He noted that in their hasty move to cast aspersions on him, the legislators forgot that he was not in the state from September 2012 till February 2013 during which period, the said budget was approved by the House.

The governor who pointedly accused the embattled speaker, Odoh and the House Leader, Ude-Okoye of embarking on the witch hunting, having failed to extort money from him, said he was ready to defend his actions as governor of the state at any time he was called upon.

He said his administration has not in any form siphoned or embezzled any public fund since he came into office.

“The speaker and the leader wanted to be governor and deputy governor respectively and because they failed in their bid, they have decided to resort to blackmail, all the allegations they are brandishing have to do with money.

“Tell them that I will not give them any money and I wish them luck in their dream to impeach me,” he said,

Chime, also dismissed claims by the Odoh group that the reported N11 billion loan request by the executive was to serve as his parting gift as governor.

He explained that the lawmakers had in November last year approved the said loan request, adding however, that when the state government approached the UBA for the loan, the bank demanded that the state should secure another approval from the legislators that the loan be tied to an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) which made the government to return to them for the approval.

Governor Chime further explained that instead of approving the ISPO demand, the leadership of the Assembly demanded for kick-backs which he promptly refused leading to the ongoing attacks against his government.

“They started embarrassing the government, summoning officials and my aides to come and explain even actions that took place in my first term just because they couldn’t get money from me, you can see their frustrations, he said

The governor also dismissed other accusations that bothered on alleged 25-years water concessioning, fraudulent allocation of lands, jerking up of the contract sum of the ongoing new state Secretariat, among others.



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