Monday, 18 August 2014

Article: Governor Okorocha’s Impeachment Saga And Legislative Irresponsibility

Governor Okorocha

By Barr. Emperor Nnabuihe Iwuala (Ksc.)

Recently, it was reported in some mass media in the country of how the legislative members of the Imo State House of Assembly (IMHA) were offered many millions of naira to impeach Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State. The media report says the governor made the accusation against the said state law-makers.

Till now, the governor has not refuted the report and neither has the IMHA denied the allegation. Instead, the Governor had continued to levy more of the accusation as the days come by.

Therefore, it means that the report unequivocally is a serious one.

I have taken pence to follow the allegation or accusation. I have called on the media aide to the Speaker of the IMHA but he declined to comment on the saga. When I called the member representing Ikeduru Local Government Area (L.G.A.) in the said state legislature Hon. Sam Daddy Anyanwu, I was a little disappointed with the answer he gave me. He said that he would not comment on the allegation and was not in a position to do so either. He however, referred me to the spokesman for the IMHA who represents Okigwe L.G.A., Hon. Acho Ihim. I sent Hon. Ihim a text for his reaction on the allegation but did not get any answer from him till the time of this write-up. Subsequently, I called on one of the legislators in said legislature who always confides in me. He however, told me that he was not aware of any bribe to impeach Governor Okorocha and that nobody approached him for such either.

Before I go on, I will like to say that an allegation that huge amount of money was offered to impeach a governor of a state is a very serious one. It is a serious issue that should not be taken lightly. Therefore, in line with transparency in public service, it is a public issue which the public needs to know in details.

Accordingly, a representative in the hallowed chamber of the state legislature like Sam Daddy Anyanwu who takes home millions of Imo people’s naira every monthly for his personal use and that of his family should be in a position to tell the people like his other colleague did whether he was offered bribe to impeach Gov. Okorocha or not. That is one of the reasons why he was sent to the IMHA. That is why he is taking home the many millions of naira every month. The answers to the allegation are simple. Has money or bribe been offered to him or his colleagues to impeach Okorocha or not?

In this era of wide use of the Freedom of Information Act, I see Hon. Sam Daddy’s refusal to answer the question from me and his referral to his colleague as a grave legislative irresponsibility. As a house member who knows his obligations, he owes a duty to inform the public on what he knows about the allegation.

Incidentally, the governor’s allegation is against him and his colleagues. The number one citizen of Imo State has accused members of his state legislature of being offered monetary inducement to impeach him. Therefore, if the bribery allegation is true, who made the offer? When and where was the offer made? Was the offer also made to Sam Daddy or not? If true, how much was Sam Daddy offered? Did he collect or reject. If he collected how much was his own share?

I know that if responsible, responsive and courageous legislators like Mike Ahamba (in the Second Republic) and Senator Chris Anyanwu were faced with the same type of question for information on a similar allegation, the approach would be different.

A true legislature should be courageous enough to state the true position of grave issues of public concern at all times. A legislature should be transparent and accountable all the time. Assuming somebody like Hon. Sam Daddy Anyanwu or his type goes to the National Assembly tomorrow, and a very serious issue like the one under our discourse herein arises, the answer he gave me, will it be the answer he will give the people of the state?

It is on record that the present IMHA which the same Hon. Sam Daddy (who wants to become a senator in 2015) is part of is the worst in the history of Imo State. That is the only legislature in the whole world where nobody knows the political party that is the majority or in the minority. That is the only legislature that its members claim to be members of multiple political parties at the same time. It is also the law-making body that has condoned the following illegalities in Imo State:

1. Dissolution of statutory commissions with fixed tenures before the expiration of tenure of office.

2. Sack of beneficiaries of the Ten Thousand Jobs Scheme without due process.

3. Sack of elected local government councils and Illegal proscription of Local Government Development Centers

4. Illegal Suspension of Permanent Secretaries

5. Demolition of houses in Owerri, Orlu And Okigwe, Anara, Amaraku etc without due process

5. Appropriation of land originally designated for new/permanent Government complex in New Owerri to private persons

6. Illegal trespass into Area ‘K’ Land belonging to the people of Amawom in Owerri Municipal Area when the land is subject to litigation in court.

7. Illegal Dissolution of Town Unions in all the Autonomous Communities in the state.

8. Use of Imo money to start a private university at Ogboko with the pretext to relocate Imo State University to the place

9. Sale of IMHA quarters to private persons.

11. Sale of ADAPALM, Imo Transport Company (I.T.C.), General Hospitals etc

12. Closure of Concorde Hotel while the governor’s own hotels boom on daily basis.

13. Sale of Imo Road Maintenance Agency (IROMA) graders, bulldozers, pay-loaders etc and appropriating proceeds to yet-to-be accounted source.

14. Disappearance of world-class Printing and Sword Machines worth over 200 million naira (acquired during Mbakwe Administration) belonging to Imo Newspapers.

15. Controversial Borrowing of many billions of Naira from banks.

16. Reduction of admission quota for Imo Indigenes in Imo State University and Imo State Polytechnics (IMSU) so as to achieve free education.

17. Use of Community Governing Council to divert people’s attention from Federal Allocations to the 27 local government councils in Imo State.

18. Use of Imo peoples many millions of naira to sponsor daily advertorials, propaganda, world press briefings and slanted news stories in the media.

19. Illegal sack of Education Secretaries in Imo State.

20. Refusal to re-Instate elected Local Government Councils in the 27 Local Government Areas in Imo State as against the Judgment of the Court of Appeal.

21. Use of Sole Administrators to run local government councils in Imo State as against Court of Appeal declaration that it is unconstitutional.

22. Refusal to re-instate Sacked Members of the Imo State Judicial Service Commission against the judgment of an Owerri High Court.

23. Refusal to obey the Court of Appeal judgment re-instating Eze C. I. Ilomuanya as the Chairman Imo State Council of Ndi-eze

24. Owing of Retired Primary School Teachers 15 Months Arrears of Pensions No Gratuities.

25. Refused to pay salaries and severance Allowances to former public office holders

26. Refusal to Pay Community Speakers more than 2 years arrears of monthly allowances

27. Stopped of overtime pay to public servants

28. Cajoling Contractors into borrowing money to do government projects and refusing to formalize and pay for the contracts done.

29. Abandonment of the Owerri City Gate project and refusal to pay contractors who were doing the job

30. Owing retired staff of I.B.C and Imo Newspaper over 40 months arrears of pensions.

31. Passage of bill Legalizing abortion in Imo State.

32. Allowing Mr. JPROS to run away with =N=1.35 Billion and impeaching an innocent former Deputy Governor thereof.

33. Inability to account for the billions of funds left by the Ohakim regime, Imo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (ISOPADEC) fund, money meant for victims of the flood disaster

34. Projects claimed to have been paid up to 40% with nothing on Ground to Justify Payment. They are 7 Star Prince Hotel, 7 Star Princess Hotel, 1,000 Housing Units, Ecumenical centre, Magnificent towers called ‘Akachi’, 15 Kilometer Roads in all Local Government Areas, 5 Star Hotel at Dan Anyiam, Multi-Lane Park at former Ama JK Recretaion Park Owerri etc

35. Controversial claim of payment of monthly stipend to pupils and students and procurement of free school uniforms, bags, sandals, desks, books etc for pupils and students in all the public schools in Imo State

36. Demolition of the Imo State Library Complex and replacing part of the compound with a shopping mall named Douglas Souvenir which is allegedly own and run by the governor’s daughter.

37. Demolition of state library building and using its site to build a shop called Douglas Souvenir which is managed by the governor’s child.

38. etc

The point I am labouring to make here is that for now, there is no moral justification whatsoever to vote or appoint any lawmaker who has been part of the Okorocha Administration into any public office. This is because the legislators in question totally aided in plunging the state into an impending ‘oblivion’ it is gradually going into.

Be that as it may, the present time is historic in Imo State as it is an era where Imo State has a loquacious and careless talkative as its leader; a leader who can even go to the extent of feigning road traffic accident to achieve obnoxious aims.

Therefore, the people needs to know when their so called leader is serious or on a ‘jamboree’.

In that vein, members of the IMHA owe the public the duty of equivocally saying whether or not the governor manufactured the said allegation of bribery against them or not. It is also a time to tell the public if they collected or rejected the bribe if it was really offered. It will also be important to know who offered the said money.

This is in line with transparency and accountability in governance. For the people are tired of the game of hid-and-seek in the whole episode.

(Iwuala can be reached on: 08037247295)

1 comment:

  1. Now education is very serious disease, Please tell whose side Barr. Iwuala is siding. when I looked at your listed wrongs of Governor Okorocha administation, it takes no bribery to impeach him. You annoyance with IMHA was they refusal to reveal if money was involved or was it because you got no answers from any of them. Okoroacha has committed impeachment offence and he need to answer some question meney or no money period.


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