Plot to impeach Elechi suffers setback, seven lawmakers back out
THE move to impeach Governor Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State by the House of Assembly has suffered a setback with the withdrawal of seven of the 15 lawmakers that initially signed the impeachment notice on the governor last week.
The seven lawmakers christened ‘Integrity Group of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly’ also denied allegations that they were being sponsored by politicians in Abuja to impeach the governor.
Speaking through their chairman and Minority Leader of the 24-member State Assembly, Hon Enyi C. Enyi, who addressed a press conference in Enugu, they said their decision to withdraw from the impeachment plot was informed by far-reaching consultations within and outside their constituencies.
He said: “We were also touched by the deep political counseling from our leaders and elders, which indicated that the long term demerits of the action would surpass whatever short term merits it may present.
Most importantly, we were alarmed at the discovery that the impeachment, if consummated, would spew deep political bad blood and dichotomy between the two political blocs in the state.
“Moreover, if the impeachment is pursued to its logical end, each member of the 4th Plenary of Ebonyi State House of Assembly would wear the stigma and badge of dishonor as the lawmakers that impeached their governor and the first set of legislators to impeach a sitting governor in the Southeast.”
Enyi, who represents Ezza North West State Constituency, said the seven members of the Integrity Group were not prepared to earn any stigma that could outlive their tenures, political careers and even their children.
The lawmakers, it could be recalled, had accused the governor of exhibiting acts of impunity in the implementation of laws and administration of funds among others.
Enyi, who agreed that the allegations against the governor were real and constituted impeachable offences, stressed that the decision to impeach him was agreed upon last year but had to be delayed until recently.
“We are of the opinion that the impeachment has become belated and should remain dead forever. Consequently, we solemnly declare that no amount of monetary oxygen would resurrect it as long as the business of impeachment is predicated on the arithmetic provided in the Constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended”, he declared.
But the group called on the governor to consider releasing all Ebonyi indigenes clamped in jail since the inception of his administration following the Ezza crisis. He said that 83 indigent citizens of Ezza clan have been clamped in prison since then, adding that he should embrace genuine reconciliation among the political class in the state.
“The governor should create a climate of joy and happiness on as many persons as he can. It is achievable, Chief Elechi should prepare the grounds to resume his seat as the foremost statesman of Ebonyi state,” the lawmakers advised.
On allegations that they were sponsored to impeach Elechi, he said: “We are on our own. We don’t have a sponsor whether inside or outside. This is purely the decision of the House and we decided to embark on it and we are backing out. It is borne out of our oversight function.
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