The Assembly also accuses Mr. Onyebuchi of obstructing the smooth running of government for disobeying Governor Chime
The Enugu State House of Assembly on Tuesday said the state deputy governor, Sunday Onyebuchi, does not deserve to remain in office for operating a poultry farm within his official quarters and obstructing the smooth running of government in other ways.
Twenty-two of the 24 members of the Assembly had on Monday resolved to serve impeachment notice on the deputy governor.
Among the charges against Mr. Onyebuchi is the operation of a livestock and poultry farms within residential areas in Enugu.
According to the impeachment notice, the lawmakers said by a resolution they passed on February 12, 2013, the House “prohibited the maintenance and operation of a commercial livestock and poultry farms within residential neighbourhoods in Enugu Metropolis in promotion of public health standards”.
They said Mr. Onyebuchi declined to obey the directives of government’s officials who came to his official premises to monitor the resolution.
The notice read in parts: “Consequent upon the intimidation of the relevant officials of the government by the Deputy Governor in respect of the matter aforesaid, the governor of Enugu State (herein after referred to as “ the Governor via letters with reference numbers : GHE/CAO/31/239 and GHE/CAO/31/240 dated 24/12/2013 and 27/12/2013 respectively, directed the Deputy Governor to relocate the commercial poultry farm out of the premises of his official residential quarters , which is also within the general premises of the Government House Enugu and adjacent to the Governor’s office.
“The Deputy Governor further defied the directive herein and in a most discourteous manner and in utter disregard of the office of the governor, responded via a letter dated 8/1/2014, insisting that he would not relocate his commercial poultry farm from the premises of his official residential quarters.
“When the government through the appropriate Ministries and departments relocated the birds and cleared the premises of the noxious stench emanating therefrom, the Deputy Governor wrongfully deployed the resources and powers of his office as deputy governor to invite the press and openly castigated the government and her officials, thereby impugning and denigrating the authority and office of the governor and embarrassing the government.”
PREMIUM TIMES is unable to reach Mr. Onyebuchi as at the time of this report to determine whether the poultry farm the lawmakers complained about is indeed a commercial one.
The lawmakers also said Mr. Onyebuchi disobeyed the governor, Sullivan Chime, on several occasions thereby violating Section 193 (1) of the Constitution.
They specifically noted in particular that in March, the deputy governor refused to represent Mr. Chime at the flag-off ceremony of the 2nd River Niger Bridge, which was performed by President Goodluck Jonathan.
“The deputy governor persists in his defiance of lawful directives issued to him by the governor” the lawmakers said, adding that Mr. Onyebuchi’s attitude had affected the smooth running of the government of the state.
Section 188 (2) of the Constitution says, a governor or deputy governor may be removed from office when a notice of any allegation in writing signed by not less than one-third of the members of the House of Assembly –
Is presented to the Speaker of the House of Assembly of the state Stating that the holder of such offices is guilty of gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of his office detailed particulars of which shall be specified.
The Speaker then shall within seven days of the receipt of the notice cause a copy of the notice to be served on the holder of the office and on each member of the House of Assembly and shall cause any statement made in reply in the allegation by the holder of the office, to be served on each member of the House of Assembly.
Meanwhile, analysts have been pointing at Mr. Chime for allegedly instigating the impeachment plot against his deputy over other issues, including his ambition to run for Enugu East Senatorial District seat.
They allege the governor is rooting for his Chief of Staff, Ifeoma Nwobodo, to replace Mr. Onyebuchi after which she (Nwobodo) would seek the Senate seat to replace the incumbent, Gilbert Nnaji, in the next year’s election.