The Imo State Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, came under scrutiny to be impeached by the State House of Assembly, for allegation of gross misconduct, dereliction of duty, and imprisonment for alleged theft in the United States of America.
The Deputy Governor was accused of “absconding from his office for more than three months without permission and therefore should be impeached” with a petition tendered by the Deputy Speaker, Ugonna Ozuruigbo, and 13 other lawmakers.
The lawmakers equally accused Madumere of refusing to carry out official duties assigned to him by Governor Rochas Okorocha, and the refusal to attend State Executive Council meetings.
Those who signed the petition against Madumere were Ugonna Ozurigbo (Nwangele Constituency); Chinedu Offor (Onuimo); Ikechukwu Anuka (Ideato South); Lawrence Duruji (Ehime Mbano); Uche Ejiogu (Ihitte Uboma); Henry Ezediaro (Oguta); Marcel Odunze (Orlu) and Lloyd Chukwuemeka representing the Owerri North Constituency.
Others were Chika Madumere (Nkwerre Constituency); Uju Onwudiwe (Njaba); Ngozi Obuefule (Isu); Victor Onyewuchi (Owerri West) and Arthur Egwim (Ideato North).
The Speaker, Acho Ihim, said the petition met and surpassed the required one-third of the lawmakers as provided in Section 188 (2) 11 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
The lawmaker representing the Oru West LGA, Donatus Onuigwe, who opposed the impeachment proceedings, was immediately suspended by the Speaker.
The Assembly is made up of 27 members but four members who were sympathetic to Madumere had earlier been suspended for “unparliamentary conduct” thus paving the way for the impeachment proceedings against the deputy governor.
A six-man committee headed by Kennedy Ibe, member representing the Obowo LGA, was set up to probe the allegations and was asked to report back to the House within seven days.
However, Madumere has debunked all allegations levelled against him, saying he was never imprisoned for theft in the US.
In a statement issued shortly after the impeachment proceedings were served on the deputy governor, his Chief Press Secretary, Uche Onwuchekwa, said Madumere was not guilty of any of the allegations.
Madumere said the two times he had been clamped into detention were to save Okorocha from public embarrassment.
According to him, the allegations “were just to call a dog a bad name in order to hang it.”
The statement partly read, “The first claim of absence is rather an old ploy of calling a dog a bad name to hang it. The Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere, has never absconded from office for the period so claimed.
“He is constitutionally saddled with the responsibilities of superintending the Boundary Commission. By our records, the Deputy Governor of Imo State has never abdicated from such responsibility. Considering the period under review, the people of Umuoma of Ihitte-Uboma Local Government, Ihube of the Okigwe Local Government Area, among others, can testify to the Deputy Governor’s sagacity in crises resolution with particular reference to April 11 and April 16 2018.”