Members of Ebonyi State House of Assembly are set to commence impeachment proceedings against Governor Martin Elechi, sources in Abakalili, the state capital, informed PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday.
PREMIUM TIMES also gathered that lawmakers loyal to the state deputy governor, Dave Umahi, are hatching the plot and they are presently locked in a meeting at the residence of the Speaker, Chukwuma Nwazunku.
“That is what they normally do these days, they first gather at the residence of the speaker, take a decision and drive in convoy to the Assembly complex,” said a source that preferred anonymity because he was not permitted to speak on the matter.
Mr. Umahi has been engaged in a political battle with his principal, Governor Elechi, since the PDP primary election last year.
The governor supported former Health Minister, Onyebuchi Chukwu, to replace him, but Mr. Umahi defeated Mr. Chukwu reportedly with the support of first lady, Patience Jonathan.
A fallout of the primary forced some lawmakers loyal to Mr. Elechi to defect to the Labour Party.
Another insider with knowledge of the impeachment plot, Wednesday, said members loyal to the Deputy Governor have perfected plans to first of all declare the seat of members who defected to the Labour Party vacant.
Among those who defected to LP include the Deputy Speaker, Blaise Orji.
We also gathered that a large consignment of Police Officers had cordoned off the House of Assembly complex along Nkaliki road preparatory to the sitting.
An armored personal carrier was also stationed in front of the complex.
Meanwhile, the defected lawmakers are also said to be meeting at a different location and will address a press conference any moment from now.
A member of the Assembly who spoke to our reporter in confidence said the planned action to declare the seats of the members vacant will be subjudice because a suit relating to the defection and matters that followed is already before a court.
“They defected because there was crisis in the PDP and moreover they have gone to an Abuja High court to determine if there was crisis in the PDP in the state”.
“The constitution provides for legislators to defect if there is a crisis in their party, so any move to declare their seats vacant will be subjudice and contempt of court,” he said.
The PDP in the state imploded following the acrimonious primaries it conducted last year leading to over 70 per cent of the members of the party defecting to the Labour Party.
Among those who defected apart from the lawmakers include, Local government Chairpersons, Commissioners, Development Centre Coordinators and many other top government officials.