Enugu State House of Assembly, yesterday, commenced impeachment proceedings against the state deputy governor, Chief Sunday Onyebuchi, who was accused of gross misconduct and disobedience to the lawful directives of Governor Sullivan Chime. And members outlined a number of allegations as captured below..
“By a resolution of the Enugu State House of Assembly at its plenary on Tuesday, February 12, 2013, the Enugu State House of Assembly prohibited the maintenance and operation of commercial livestock and poultry farms within residential neighbourhoods in Enugu metropolis in promotion of public health standards; which resolution was further accepted by the Government for implementation.
“The Deputy Governor is guilty of various acts of gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of his office as the Deputy Governor of Enugu State. The particulars of gross misconduct are as follows: “Between February 2013 and February 2014 the Deputy Governor wrongfully deployed the resources of his office and exercised the powers thereof to resist and ridicule the implementation of a public health policy of the Government of Enugu State of Nigeria and thereby abused his office as follows:
“Notwithstanding the said resolution, the Deputy Governor continued to maintain and operate a commercial poultry farm within the premises of his official residential quarters; and further refused to carry out the directives of the relevant officials of the Government, who visited his official premises to monitor compliance with the said resolution.
“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 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 his 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.”
The lawmakers further alleged that the Deputy Governor “habitually refuses, fails and or neglects to carry out and or perform the functions of his office as directed by the Governor pursuant to Section 193(1) of the Constitution without any excuse.”
The assembly members cited such manifest breaches of the constitution to include his alleged refusal to carry out the directive of the Governor to represent him at the flag-off ceremony of the construction of the second Niger Bridge in Onitsha by President Goodluck Jonathan on March 11, and at the South-East Governors Forum held in Enugu on Sunday, July 8 “despite the express directive of the Governor to represent him at the Forum.
“The Deputy Governor persists in his defiance of lawful directives issued to him by the Governor, which defiance has adversely affected and will continue to affect the smooth running of the Government; and he will continue to do so if not removed from office.”