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Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Imo Lawmakers Defy Court Injunction, Impeach Madumere

Imo State Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, has been impeached by the State House of Assembly. He was impeached by 19 out of the 37 members of the Assembly.

Following the impeachment, the state House of Assembly confirmed Mr Calistus Ekenze as the replacement of Madumere. The confirmation was after the Majority leader of the House, Mr. Lugard Osuji, moved the motion for the adoption of Ekenze, as Madumere’s replacement. Until the Ekenze recognition by the state House of Assembly, he was the head of Imo state civil service. 

Ekenze is from the same Mbaitoli local government area, of the impeached deputy governor. The impeachment came after an Imo State High Court presided over by Hon. Justice Ben Iheka, restrained the state Chief Judge, Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly and the State House of Assembly from taking any further action in the planned impeachment of Madumere until the hearing and determination of a case before it in which the deputy governor was seeking to stop his impeachment. 

 The Assembly had earlier received a report by a panel set up by the state chief judge which allegedly indicted Madumere of gross misconduct. Madumere has been having a running political battle with Governor Rochas Okorocha over the latter’s successor in 2019. While he seeks to succeed Governor Okorocha, the governor reportedly supports his son-in-law. The crisis worsened during the APC local government and state congresses in the state with Okorocha and his deputy supporting separate factions. 

Although the APC faction supported by Madumere and Senator Osita Izunaso, was initially recognised by the national leadership of the party, its election was overturned by the court. It should be recalled that on July 10, the assembly commenced impeachment proceedings against Madumere. Ugonna Ozuruigbo, the deputy speaker of the House had moved the motion that the impeachment notice be served on him. The former deputy governor was accused of abandoning his duties for a long time and refusing to carry out official duties assigned to him by the governor, among others. 

The House set up a six-man committee headed by Kennedy Ibe, member representing Obowo Local Government Area to probe the allegations and report back within seven days. Earlier, Acho Ihim, the speaker suspended a lawmaker who kicked against the impeachment process. Before now, the House had suspended the pro-Madumere lawmakers who are in the minority. Madumere emerged deputy governor following the ousting of Jude Agbaso. 


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