Impeached Deputy Governor of Imo State, Eze Madumere, has accused Governor Rochas Okorocha, of being behind his impeachment.
Madumere was last Monday impeached by the state House of Assembly over alleged gross misconduct.
But the action was in defiance to the ruling of a state High Court presided over by Justice Ben Iheka on July 30, restraining the legislators and the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Paschal Nnadi, from any further moves regarding the impeachment process.
Reacting, the impeached deputy governor in a statement by his media aide, Uche Onwuchekwa described his removal from office as illegal, saying neither the state House of Assembly nor the seven-man panel set up by the Chief Judge of the state, Paschal Nnadi, invited him to any of their sittings.
Madumere stated that the state House of Assembly was being used as a willing tool in the hands of the governor for political witch hunting.
The statement reads in part: “The state House of Assembly has become a mere stooge in the hands of the governor.
“In disobedience to the restraining order against the Chief Judge, the seven-man panel, Speaker and members of Imo State House of Assembly from further action on the controversial impeachment proceeding against the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere, the House of Assembly in Gestapo manner, has removed the deputy governor of the state from office.
“The Presiding Judge of High Court 8, Justice Benjamin Iheka had restrained the seven-man panel of inquiry constituted by the Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Paschal Nnadi, the Chief Judge, Speaker and members of Imo State House of Assembly over a matter brought before the court that borders on constitutional breaches in the procedure adopted to remove the deputy governor from the office.
“The Acho Ihim-led faction of the members of the House sponsored by Governor Okorocha against the court order and the rule of law illegally removed the deputy governor in a kangaroo manner.
“Against the requirement of the law, Prince Madumere was not given fair hearing as he was neither invited during the sitting of the investigative committee in the House of Assembly nor by the seven-man panel set up the Chief Judge.”
However, the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, yesterday said he would respect the court order stopping the swearing in of the new deputy governor, Mr. Calistus Ekenze.
Okorocha’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Sam Onwuemeodo disclosed this in a release to newsmen in Owerri.
The release also said that the governor had called on his party members to remain law abiding.
As captured by the release, “The scheduled swearing-in of the new Deputy-Governor of the State, Sir Calistus Ekenze, yesterday by 9am, could not take place again following the directive by the state Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha that the Interim Court Order restraining the Chief Judge of the state from carrying out the exercise be fully obeyed. “The venue of the scheduled swearing-in, the Sam Mbakwe Exco Chamber was full to the brim by guests including senior government functionaries and APC leaders in the state when the governor’s directive came through the Attorney-General of the state, Barrister M.O. Nlemedim in respect of the court order.
Meanwhile, a newly enthroned factional APC chairman for Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State, Mr. Sunny Ejeagwu, has been assassinated by unknown gunmen at Akokwa on his way back from a meeting.
The incident, which occurred recently was reported to have kept the Governor Rochas Okorocha Rescue Mission family in disarray in view of the short service Ejeagwu was believed to have rendered to the All Progressives Congress before his sudden elimination.
It would be recalled that the slain party chairman was among the executive members recently elected into the party LG congress organised by the state governor in respect to the Federal High Court judgment against the previous one purportedly conducted in the state on May 5, 2018.
However, the governor has offered the sum of N20million to any informant that could make any information available in that regard.
Valentine Nduka, Owerri
Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity
Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.
The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).
Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.
It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.
Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.
Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.
Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments
President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.
The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.
According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.
He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.
Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.
The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.
He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.
On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.
He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.
“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.
“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.
“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.
”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.
“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.
“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.
On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.
On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.
According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.
The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”
Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari
Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.
The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.
Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.
He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.
He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.
“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.
“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.
“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”
He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.
This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.
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