Search Site: OnlineNigeria

Close



Impeachment: Obi raps Anambra lawmakers

Posted by By FRANCIS AWOWOLE-BROWNE, Abuja and GEOFFREY ANYANWU, Awka on 2006/10/24 | Views: 539 |

Impeachment: Obi raps Anambra lawmakers


Embattled Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, under the threat of impeachment, on Monday talked tough, saying he would not bow to the wish of the state assembly men by looting the treasury to satisfy their demands.

ē I canít loot the treasury because of you

Embattled Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, under the threat of impeachment, on Monday talked tough, saying he would not bow to the wish of the state assembly men by looting the treasury to satisfy their demands.

This is coming as strong indications emerged that the 22 members of the House that passed the motion to impeach the governor would not obey the seven-day ultimatum given to them at the weekend by the Anambra Leaders of Thought to withdraw the notice or be recalled.

Speaking through his Commissioner for Environment, Mineral Resources, Science and Technology, Dr. Ifedi Okwenna in Abuja , the governor maintained that he was being persecuted because of his refusal to buy cars for the state legislators.

Reacting to the allegation that the governor bribed union leaders and traditional rulers in the state as well as journalists, for them to support him in his battle against the impeachment process, the commissioner described the allegation as a cheap lie, saying the governor would not succumb to such blackmail.

Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Mike Balonwu, had, in an interview with Sowore Omoyele of Sahara Reporters, alleged that Governor Obi "gave labour union leaders N20 million, $40 million to traditional rulers and bribed journalists with a lot of money."
He added that the governor would still have to account for those monies because "they are extra budgetary expenses that will compound his trouble."

But Dr. Okwenna said the allegations were frivolous, baseless and unfounded.
Rather, the commissioner said it was the lawmakers who demanded for N40million bribe for each legislator from Governor Obi and when they couldnít get it, they decided to move against him.

"Governor Peter Obi as a person can never bring out that type of money to bribe anybody. It was the state governorís refusal to give them the N40 million bribe that led to the whole brouhaha. And Dr. Obi asked them to tell him where they expect him to get that type of money", said Okwenna.

He added that the legislators also demanded for a new car each but that the governor made it clear to them that the former Governor (Dr. Chris Ngige) gave them cars and that such cars could only be given to them once in four years.

Okwenna explained that contrary to the bribery allegations, the governor was getting support from workers in the state because the workers had seen a government that was out to protect their interest.
"The workers are paid their salaries as and when due, pensioners collect their money every month, they donít even have to come to Awka before they get paid. The governor has bought official cars for all permanent secretaries in the state, why wonít they move against the impeachment?" he queried.

The commissioner said the labour unions had taken a decision to down tools should the lawmakers go ahead to impeach Governor Obi. He said the workers would not go back to work until the impeachment was reversed, because they believed that none of the issues the lawmakers raised was worth reprimanding the governor for, let alone impeaching him.

But speaking to Daily Sun on phone, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Chief Ozo Ughamadu, said that there was no platform like Ndi Anambra that could issue such ultimatum.
He maintained that what the lawmakers did was in line with their legislative functions, which according to him, did not call for "renting of crowd to protest the action of the legislature."

He said: "There is no platform like Ndi Anambra,Ö what the legislature is doing is trying to discharge its functions. The legislature has not impeached anybody, the legislature is saying that these offences are impeachable. And they are more or less repeating the constitution.

"As soon as the legislators said these offences are impeachable, they were expecting superior logic to prevail. If you have a superior logic over their own logic the matter dies.

But what did we see, everybody took to the street, rented crowd and all sorts. You do not reduce constitutionalism to sentimentalism, you do not do that. What the House of Assembly said is in keeping with the position of the constitution. They said these things are impeachable, you can also say they are not impeachable and it can be looked into, superior logic will prevail. But when you begin to mobilize people from all over the state, that does not deter the action of the legislators on the floor. This is a crucial issue, itís not a moral issue.

It is a constitutional issue, itís not a passionate issue. They have the right to say what they want to say, move where they want to move, I have a right to say what I want to say, move to where I want to move."

As the people await the end of the ultimatum and the end of two weeks given to the governor to answer the allegations, the state has remained quiet, with pockets of supporters coming to pay solidarity visit to Governor Obi.


Read Full Story Here.... :
Leave Comment Here :