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Impeachment bid, a family affair – Obi

Posted by By John Ameh and Sola Adebayo on 2006/10/20 | Views: 895 |

Impeachment bid, a family affair – Obi


Embattled Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, on Thursday held out the olive branch to 18 members of the House of Assembly seeking his removal.

Embattled Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, on Thursday held out the olive branch to 18 members of the House of Assembly seeking his removal.

He said the matter between them was a family affair.

But the lawmakers do not seem to be appeased yet, as they asked him to respond to the allegations contained in the impeachment notice served on him on Monday.

Obi, in a broadcast to the people of the state in Awka on Thursday, compared his face-off with the legislators to a quarrel between a husband and wife, which could be settled amicably.

He insisted that he had not received a copy of the impeachment notice, four days after the House released it.

The governor said, "Notwithstanding this unfortunate development, I have refrained from making any public statements.

"Rather, I have quietly been consulting widely across the state, urging everyone to remain calm.

"I regard the impeachment move as a disagreement between members of one large family; I believe that it will be settled amicably.

"Up to the moment of this broadcast, I have not been served any impeachment notice.

"Nonetheless, I am appealing to those honourable members who are responsible for this distraction to have a rethink in the interest of the long-suffering masses of Anambra State."

But the legislators said the impeachment process was still on, and advised Obi to reply to the allegations raised in the notice instead of looking for excuses.

They also alleged that Obi had offered their members financial inducement to frustrate the process.

At a press conference in Asaba, on Thursday, they said Obi had offered them N20 million each through emissaries.

The Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Humphrey Chukwuemeka-Nsofor; and Chairman of the Information Committee, Mr. Okechi Echezonar, who addressed journalists at the Grand Hotel, Asaba, also accused Obi of dishonesty by claiming that he was yet to be served with the impeachment notice.

They said Obi would be served another copy of the impeachment notice whenever he appeared before the seven-man panel to be constituted by state‘s Chief Judge.

The lawmakers also accused Obi of hiring crowds to drum up support for him in various parts of the state, using public funds.

Several interest groups however continued to express dismay over the move by the assembly to impeach the governor.

In a statement made available to our correspondent on Thursday, the League of Anambra Professionals called on the National Assembly to immediately initiate action to review the laws on impeachment, so that legislators do not personally benefit from the exercise of their power to remove a governor.

The president of LAP, Dr. Ndi Onuekwusi, urged the Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Masari, to "use their good offices to make impeachment an instrument against rascality by the executive, but not a back alley to executive power for legislators."

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