An Ekiti-like State House of Assembly crisis has hit Enugu, leading to the sack of the speaker by just nine members of the House and an impeachment notice served Governor Sullivan Chime just weeks to the end of his tenure.
The crisis hit early on Monday but worsened towards the end of the day, with 15 lawmakers, led by Speaker, Eugene Odoh, serving Governor Chime an impeachment notice based on alleged gross misconduct.
They accused the governor of forging the 2012 Supplementary Budget running into billions of naira. They also alleged that the governor inflated the contract sum for the construction of the new State Secretariat complex from N13 billion to N21 billion without recourse to the House of Assembly. He also awarded the contract to Arab Contractors Limited even when another contractor submitted a lower bid and also using the police to deny the lawmakers access to the House for their sitting on Monday, according to Thisday.
At their meeting which commenced at 6:28am, they also suspended three members including the Deputy Speaker, Chime Oji, who was recently elected to represent Enugu North/South Federal Constituency, Hon. Emeka Ogbuabor and Deputy House Leader, John Ukuta for alleged anti-House activities.
The lawmakers had complained that the governor was using some legislators to disrupt the activities of the House and undermine their interest following their refusal to approve the N11 billion loan requested by the governor.
Odo later adjourned the meeting and adjourned sitting of the House to Tuesday taking the mace away as they left.
However, at 7.05am, the nine lawmakers led by the Deputy Speaker walked into the chamber with another mace and conducted their own sitting.
The action of the 15 lawmakers was countered by nine others led by the Deputy Speaker, Chime Oji who announced the impeachment of the speaker, Odoh and the sacking of the Majority Leader, S.K.E. Ude-Okoye, with seven other members, according to reports. The sacked members were stri*ped of not only the positions they held but also their benefits.
Oji and the eight lawmakers elected a new speaker, Hon. Chinedu Nwamba (Nsukka East) and appointed Hon. Donatus Uzoagbado (Oji-River) and Hon. Emeka Ogbuabo (Isiuzo) as the new Majority Leader and Chief Whip respectively.
They also recalled Hon. Johnbul Nwagu who was suspended by the House about two weeks ago and freed the frozen accounts of the Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (ENSUBEB) which the Assembly froze two weeks ago.
The lawmakers adjourned the Assembly sine die (without a future date of reconvene) and directed the police and Department of Security Services, DSS, to ensure that nobody was allowed into the House of Assembly complex until further notice.