Enugu Deputy Gov. Dares Assembly Over Planned Impeachment

Enugu Deputy Gov. Dares Assembly Over Planned Impeachment
August 07 21:25 2014 Print This Article

The Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi, on Thursday dared members of the state house of assembly to impeach him, saying he was not afraid of losing his office.

The deputy governor, who was present at the sitting of the panel of enquiry that is investigating allegations leveled against him, spoke to journalists shortly after the medical director of the government house testified that the “offensive” stench from Onyebuchi’s poultry was an embarrassment to the government.

The Medical Director of the Government House Medical Centre, Dr. Anthony Ogbonna, who testified before the panel as a witness of the house of assembly, also said the poultry posed deadly health risks to residents, workers and visitors in the government house.

But, in an encounter with journalists after the panel adjourned proceedings, Onyebuchi faulted the testimonies of the medical director and other witnesses called against him, accusing them of “embellishment” and “falsehood”.

Insisting that he had not committed any offence that warranted impeachment, he dared the lawmakers to remove him.

The deputy governor noted that he was the one that should complain because he was not aware of the whereabouts of the chickens in his poultry since they were confiscated on the orders of the governor, Sullivan Chime.

He said, “The person who took my birds is the one complaining.

“I believe I have not committed any crime – my integrity is more important to me than the Office of the Deputy Governor.

“I don’t mind being removed but I want people to know that I did not commit any offence that warrants being removed.

“There is a court of man and there is a court of God.”

Earlier, in his testimony, the medical director, Ogbonna, who is also the physician to the governor, had given an insight into the nature of the controversial poultry, which is located near the gate of the government house.

He told the panel, “In December 2013, same security officials (posted at the gate of the government house) came over to the clinic repeatedly requesting for face masks.

“When I asked why they were asking for such they reported that some offensive odour was emanating from the deputy governor’s quarters which was adjacent the gate of the government house.

“They said they were finding it difficult to stand at their duty posts.

“I issued them with the face masks and went down to the poultry to verify the authenticity of their complaint.

“When I got there, there was a very strong odour of poultry droppings that had stagnated over time.

“I immediately called the attention of her Excellency, the wife of the deputy governor and she was very surprised and apologetic”.

The medical director added that the deputy governor’s wife blamed the odour on the poultry workers, and promised to clean up the place.

He further testified that the permanent secretary of the government house, Barr. O. C. Ajah, also came to the clinic to ask that something should be done immediately “to control the stench”.

The medical director and the permanent secretary subsequently inspected the poultry, with the permission of the deputy governor’s wife, and discovered sacks of poultry droppings stacked in a corner.

After a short period, when the odour from the poultry subsided, the stench resurfaced, becoming more persistent and stronger.

At this point, the medical director said the permanent secretary asked him to meet the deputy governor over the matter, and at a meeting which was also attended by the deputy governor’s wife, they (medical director and permanent secretary) suggested the relocation of the over 3000 birds to another location – as a lasting solution.

Chime, when presented with the recommendation for relocation, directed that the request be put in writing.

“At that time it was a very big embarrassment to the government house – we had to present the case to his Excellency, the governor.

“His Excellency asked the permanent secretary to put the request for relocation in writing,” the medical director said.

He listed the health implications of the stench to include vomiting, retching, serious abdominal pain, infection with animal diseases, allergic sensitivities, hay fever, avian influenza, fever and severe diarrhea, among numerous ailments.

The Commissioner of Lands and Urban Development, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ujam, and the Clerk of the House of Assembly, Mr. Christopher Chukwura, also testified against the deputy governor.

The panel will continue sitting on Friday.

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