THE long awaited impeachment of Imo State Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere was kicked off yesterday in the State House of Assembly.
Careful political watchers in the state were jolted, when the assemblymen who at their last sitting, announced a two-month vacation were recalled by the leadership of the House yesterday.
The pro-Governor Rochas Okorocha lawmakers had last month, suspended four lawmakers believed to be loyal to Madumere. Prior to the main issue of the day and in a bid to get the required number to commence and actualize the impeachment process, another lawmaker, Donatus Onuigwe, representing Oru West constituency was summarily suspended.
The member representing Owerri Municipality, who doubles as the House Majority Leader, Lugard Osuji, moved the motion for Onuigwe’s suspension. With Onuigwe out of the way, the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Ugonna Ozuruigbo, took his turn and read out what he alleged were the sins of the Deputy Governor.
Madumere’s sins—House The Office of the Deputy Governor of Imo State, says it has received the “notice of gross misconduct, currently circulating round the state, shared on various platforms on the social media and signed by 13 members of Imo State House of Assembly.
The Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere, who confirmed the development through his media aide, Mr. Uche Onwuchekwa, itemised the alleged “sins” to include absence without official reason or permission duly obtained from office for a period of three months. The House also accused him of failure to perform any of the constitutional functions of Office of Deputy Governor of Imo State, including but not limited to failure/refusal to attend constitutionally mandated proceedings of the State Executive Council, failure/refusal to attend constitutionally mandated proceedings of the State Security Council.
Assembly Mace Madumere was equally accused of refusing to attend and to hold meetings with the governor and commissioners of the government of Imo State for the governance of Imo State made compulsory by and under S.193 (2) of the 1999 Constitution He was also accused of “concealment of felonious conduct affecting the presentation of self as eligible candidate of Office of Deputy Governor, Imo State, having been convicted and imprisoned for theft in the United States of America.”
Madumereresponds “The first claim of absence is rather an old ploy of calling a dog a bad name to hang it. Fortunately, the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere, is an administrator par excellence who does not joke with his duties especially his constitutional responsibilities. “He has never absconded from office the period so claimed.
He is constitutionally saddled with the responsibilities of superintending Boundary Commission. By our records, the Deputy Governor of Imo State has never abdicated from such responsibility. Considering the period under review, the People of Umuoma of Ihitte-Uboma local government, Ihube of Okigwe Local Government among others can testify of the Deputy Governor’s sagacity in crisis resolution with particular reference to April 11, April 16, 2018.
Onwuchekwa equally explained that his boss also participated in a one day retreat for stakeholders in the management of Nigeria boundaries, which held in the Airforce Conference Center, Abuja on May 7, 2018, in the company of the Surveyor General of the State and the Principal Secretary to the Deputy Governor.
On the alleged refusal to attend constitutionally mandated proceedings of the State Executive Council, Onwuchekwa said “it is also one of the allegations that cannot stand any administrative procedure”, stressing that there are laid down procedures through which a deputy governor or any member of the executive council can be invited for executive council meeting.
“We hereby state that the deputy governor has never been invited for such meetings either through a memo or any official notices and thereby cannot stand against the Deputy Governor with the period in review,” Onwuchekwa said.
Okorocha stopped inviting me for meeting—Deputy gov Continuing, the media aide said: “Refusal to attend, and to hold meetings with the governor is to say the least another exercise in triviality as the deputy governor cannot force himself on the governor, especially when he has been tagged a pariah in the government circle.
We state here that Governor Okorocha has never created such opportunity to meet with the deputy governor to discuss the programmes and activities of the government other than the ones we embarrassingly hear by the road side and other sources. Madumere described the allegation of “concealment of felonious conduct” as “annoying, spurious and most embarrassing” among the allegations.
“This is not only astonishing but an extreme show of lack of due diligence. The Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere has never been convicted of any civil matter let alone theft,” he stated. We are pained to state that two times the Deputy Governor had to go through the pains of losing his freedom in detention were all in the course of saving Owelle Rochas Okorocha from public disgrace.”
“He rather had to carry Okorocha’s cross and bore his shame. It will be recalled that Prince Madumere shortly after Achike Udenwa’s victory at the polls in 1999, where he had to face contempt of Court for failure to make it to the court. He was in detention in the United States for about one month all because he was delayed by Governor Okorocha. To the glory of God, Prince Madumere was acquitted of any wrong doing.
“The second time he had to stoop that Governor Okorocha may be spared of the humiliation of getting incarcerated, Prince Madumere again yielded and was detained for almost two months on phony charges, which he was also absolved of all charges.”