The Ebonyi State House of Assembly has agreed to serve an impeachment notice on Governor Martin Elechi, after accusing the governor of corruption and gross misconduct.
A motion for the notice to be served on the governor was approved after the acting Majority Leader of the House, Francis Nwifruru, on Friday, read details accusing Mr. Elechi of undermining the integrity of the House and committing fraudulent acts.
The Ebonyi Assembly had last Wednesday, February 18, set up a panel to investigate allegations of financial misappropriation against the governor and some of his aides.
The assembly took the decision following petitions it received from groups in the state, including Ebonyi Integrity Group.
In one of the petitions, the embattled governor, his son, Elechi Elechi, and Edward Nkwegu, among others, were accused of contract inflation and illegal use of state funds for private gains.
Before the probe panel was constituted, the House Leader, Ikechukwu Ogbu, had read the petitions written against the governor on the floor of the assembly.
The petitions were adopted through a motion sponsored by Ogbonnaya Nwifuru, a member representing Izzi West State constituency.
In his contribution, the Minority Leader, Enyi Enyi, described the allegations against Mr. Elechi as shocking, adding that the governor risked impeachment if found guilty.
Other lawmakers who spoke that Wednesday urged the assembly to invoke all its constitutional powers to deal with the issue.
They, however, pointed out that those accused would be given the opportunity to defend themselves before the house takes necessary action.
Shortly after debates on the petitions were concluded, the Speaker, Chukwuma Nwazunku, called for a voice vote and members unanimously agreed that the governor be investigated.
The assembly, thereby, set up a special panel headed by Odefa Odefa, a member representing Onicha South, to further investigate the allegations and report its findings to the assembly.
The speaker noted that the essence of the special committee was to do a thorough investigation on the weighty allegations against the governor.
Apparently aware of the thickening plot to oust him, Mr. Elechi had told members of Ezza Ezzekuna Youth Congress, who paid him a solidarity visit at the government house in Abakiliki, that top politicians were holding meetings to remove him from office.
“I want to bring to your notice that some politicians who have vowed to govern this state at all cost have been holding secret meetings on how to impeach me,” the governor said.
“They said I’m a bad person and that if I continue to remain in power they will not have their way of ruling the state. All I can say is that if they sack me, I will relocate to my home.”
He called on the youth not to allow the state be taken over by desperate politicians who do not have their interest at heart.
Mr. Elechi asked the youth to be vigilant and resist any attempt to use them to stoke crisis which would not bring any good to the state.
The move on Friday, to serve the governor an impeachment notice, came after the House completed its investigation.[Premium Times]