Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Governor Chime faces impeachment three weeks to end of tenure

Crisis erupted in Enugu State on Monday as 14 members of the state House of Assembly, led by the Speaker, Eugene Odoh, commenced moves to impeach Governor Sullivan Chime.

The governor is facing impeachment barely three weeks to the end of his tenure in office.

He will complete two terms of four years on May 29, having first won election as governor of Enugu State in 2007.

But in a dramatic twist, another group of lawmakers loyal to Chime countered the impeachment move against him by “suspending” Odoh, and electing a new Speaker in his place.

The Odoh-led lawmakers, who resolved to serve an impeachment notice on Chime at a sitting which held in the legislative chambers at 6.30am, accused the governor of gross misconduct.

It was gathered that the police had initially tried to stop the lawmakers from sitting.

The 14 lawmakers specifically accused Chime of forging a N12bn supplementary budget in 2012.

The Clerk of the House, Mr. Christopher Chukwurah, was directed to serve the notice on Chime without any delay.

Besides moving to sack Chime, the Odoh-led group also moved against some of the governor’s loyalists in the Assembly, including the Deputy Speaker, Chime Oji, who was recently elected to represent Enugu North/South Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.

Oji, who is related to the governor, was suspended alongside Emeka Ogbuabor and the Deputy House Leader, John Ukuta, for allegedly working against the interests of the House.

Following the sitting, the lawmakers removed the mace, in an apparent bid to forestall any attempt by the pro-Chime camp to counter the impeachment move.

However, barely 30 minutes later, Chime loyalists, including Deputy Speaker, Oji, Ukuta and Deputy Governor-elect, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo, the running mate to the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate in the April 11 poll, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, held their own sitting with a different mace.

At the sitting, the Chime-loyalists suspended Odoh and some members of his camp, including Anichukwu Nwankwo, Okechukwu Nwoke, Paul Ogbe, Nze Michael Onyeze, Chika Eneh, Theresa Egbo and the House Leader, Sunday Udo-Okoye.

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