Enugu deputy governor impeached for operating poultry cleared months after end of tenure

Sullivan Chime
Sullivan Chime

An Enugu High Court on Friday nullified the impeachment of a former Deputy Governor of the Enugu State, Sunday Onyebuchi, by the State House of Assembly.

Mr. Onyebuchi, a deputy to former Gov. Sullivan Chime, was impeached on Aug. 26, 2014, and replaced by Rev. Ifeanyi Nwoye.

In a judgment of the court, Justice R. Odugu declared the impeachment of Mr. Onyebuchi “null and void’’.

The judge ordered the reinstatement of the former governor’s rights and benefits from the time of his removal from office to the period his tenure elapsed.

He declared as unconstitutional, null and void the nomination of Mr. Nwoye as replacement of the plaintiff.

He held that the plaintiff’s impeachment did not comply with the provision of Section 188 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

He faulted the secret trial of the plaintiff and awarded a cost of N25, 000 against each of the 25 defendants to the suit, amounting to N600, 000.

“Operating poultry does not in any way constitute gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of the plaintiff’s office as envisaged by the constitution.

“The alleged refusal of the deputy governor to attend two public functions assigned to him by the governor also cannot amount to gross misconduct.

“Only a grave violation or breach of the constitution can be regarded as a gross misconduct.

“Section 188 (11) of the 1999 Constitution as amended is not a weapon for the House of Assembly to police the duty of the deputy governor or to hound him out of office.

“Besides, the plaintiff has told the court that the only constitutional duty assigned to him by the governor was the chairmanship of the boundary adjustment commission.’’

The judge held that the state assembly violated its constitutional duties by the impeachment of the deputy governor as there was no basis for it.

He also berated two defendants in the suit – the House of assembly and Mr. Nwoye — for their failure to appear in court or send legal representation to defend their actions.

He said the copy of the purported resolution of the impeachment panel was not presented before the court.

In a reaction shortly after the judgment was delivered, Mr. Onyebuchi said that he had been vindicated.

He said he had forgiven all those who offended him.

“Some of them have come to me to confess and plead for forgiveness, saying that they were used and I have forgiven them,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports there was no representation from the defendants in court to get their reactions.

Mr. Onyebuchi was impeached last year in controversial circumstances following the recommendation of an impeachment panel set up by the state Chief Judge, Justice Innocent Umezulike.

(NAN)


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  • Chuks

    This is how the stinking monster PDP made itself a laughing stock in Nigeria’s democracy. The former deputy governor did not violate the constitution yet bribed uneducated lawmakers made a mockery of themselves by impeaching him for his industry and foresight.

  • Rommel

    And in the opinion of the Nigerian judiciary,this is justice? that arm of government needs to be investigated and reformed, justice delayed they say is justice denied

    • yahayaomaye

      You are correct but it’s nice putting the records straight. Im so happy for the former Deputy Governor and Chime should be ashamed of himself. He, Chime failed to realize that it was his deputy that did not allow his impeachment when he went on a very long sick leave. Mr. Onyebuchi, congratulations !

      • Mephistoheles

        We suspect the moral here is ‘sometimes, it is good to be chicken’.

  • Gugurus Ekpa

    Mr Onyebuchi finally got the justice he deserved. God is great. Allah Akbar! Mr chime tried to publicly humiliate Mr Onyebuchi. During his impeachment trial, Mr Onyebuchi even collapsed out of exasperation. They really treated him poorly. I hope the EFCC begins an investigation into Mr Chime’s tenure as Governor. And don’t forget how cruel Mr Chime has been to his wife who has, I think, some mental problems as well.

  • favourtalk

    In the days of PDP,all things goes and better judgement is now been served by the judiciary. That is how nigeria will sack the rest of the PDP.that illegally occupying all the fake seat of the nation

  • Mephistoheles

    These damned Justices!

  • Okonkwo

    Mr chime,you will reap what you sow. It’s a matter of time.

    • SBA

      Absolutely!!!

  • Chitoo Okenwa

    You cannot bury truth forever but just temporarily.
    Everyone knew Mr Onyebuchi was sacked from the government house
    due to the selfish, political ambition of ex-governor Chime.
    The State must not only reinstate Mr Onyebuchi, but all his entitlements
    & rights must be doubly paid him.

    • Tamuno

      The same guy that messed up his wife.

  • Arabakpura

    Another impunity of the PDP upturned! Thank God APC was not mentioned in this one! PDP is like the recently fired chelsea coach; nothing works well when the end has come!

  • Oh!

    LOL! natural comedian.

    We have Mephistopheles answer to you up top.

  • Oh!

    In the Holy book, Jesus said that if someone slaps you on the left cheek, you should present your other cheek.
    ………Obviously, Jesus has never been slapped by a Nigerian!

  • abeem

    The type of injustice meted out by the legislative body action is only to be expected from folks who have mortgaged their conscience to corrupt leadership. Isn’t it appalling that no one is honest enough to stand against oppression and injustice when the deputy governor was being harassed and hounded by the governor of Enugu State?
    It can only happen in “bayafara republic”