Posted by News Express | 22 August 2014 | 3,938 times
Embattled Enugu State Deputy Governor, Sunday Onyebuchi, has alleged that he is allegedly being persecuted by Governor Sullivan Chime for declaring interest in the Enugu East Senatorial election 2015.
He stated that he refused pressures from certain persons in the state to resign from office in line with the demand of the governor to enable him clear himself of the allegations leveled against him, explaining that having satisfied his conscience that he had defended himself, he was now prepared to face any decision the panel might take.
Onyebuchi made the allegation yesterday while speaking with reporters at the conclusion of his evidence before the panel set up by the State Chief Judge at the instance of the State House of Assembly to investigate alleged impeachable offences committed by him.
Onyebuchi said: “When it became clear at the panel during the panel sitting that they (government) have no case, the lawyer to government (Nduka Ikeyi) came up with something that sounded strange but revealing to us. He stated before the panel that the problem started when the governor was away and that they gathered information that I mobilized members of the state executive council to take a resolution declaring the governor incapacitated and not being able to perform his duty and that it was the Chief of Staff that foiled it and that was the problem. He raised this when it was clear that their allegations had failed, so he now came up with this that I was not loyal to the governor, even when I submitted a copy of the letter the governor wrote to the House of Assembly on resumption of duty on 8th February, 2013, where he commended me for the peace and calm in the state while he was away. It is strange for anybody to say that I plotted against the governor and I am hearing it for the first time, because I believe if it is true, all the praises that I received from the governor while he was away, I wouldn’t have received; the things he wrote in his letter and the relationship I had with him when he came back wouldn’t have been possible.
“But, you see, when you don’t have a good case, you start looking for something to hang on to. So, I am happy they admitted that there is nothing against me other than operating a poultry farm, which I tagged chicken impeachment. I made it clear to the man who raised the issue that he was wrong, that my problem started when I expressed interest to contest for the senate seat of Enugu East Senatorial zone, coincidentally against the preferred candidate of the governor.”
Continuing, Onyebuchi said: “Initially, they didn’t know I will make any impact; they felt they had everything, but when I started making consultations, people I never expected started giving me encouragement and support, he became uncomfortable. There was a time I received information from somebody that if I did not step down, this move will be made against me.
“However, I did not believe it and I made it clear before now that it was from the day I expressed that interest that I started noticing some hostile attitude from the governor. So, I believe my team of my lawyers has made a very good case and I believe that the ball is now in the court of the members of the panel. Like I said earlier, it is for them to choose whether they will stand on the side of the truth, which is what the people of Enugu are calling for or to stand on the side of the saying that ‘might is right’ and that he who holds the power must be right and the weaker person must be wrong; therefore I was wrong.
“If that is done, it is okay because I have said it repeatedly as a Christian that nothing happens without God knowing about it and the best thing for me is not being impeached by God. So, I said I am confident that I have nothing to fear, that’s why I did not take the option of resigning, believing that if the panel of man impeaches me, I will get justice from the panel of God, which is the Supreme Panel. There is no court higher than that, the judgment may not come when we want but it will eventually come unless we don’t profess to be Christians. So, I am confident that truth will prevail if not now, in the future, so, I am not afraid.”
Upon concluding its sitting yesterday, the seven-man panel declared that it would make its findings known to the House of Assembly. Panel Chairman, Uche Frankline Oraekenyi, urged parties in the case to await further directives from the State Assembly, whom he said empowered them to do their job.
Meanwhile, Chime yesterday denied that he operated either a poultry or piggery farm at the Government House, stressing that the Agric Unit in the Government House was different from the governor’s residence.
His Chief Press Secretary Chukwudi Achife said in a statement issued in Enugu: “The truth is that there is an Agric Unit in the Government House where livestock are held for the use of the Government House. It has been in existence since the Government House was built and had served previous administrations in Enugu. It is neither commercially operated nor is it owned by the Governor.
“The unit is manned by civil servants including a veterinary doctor. Funds for its maintenance are provided for in the annual budget of the government. The unit also serves the Deputy Governor. As a matter of fact, staff of the unit slaughtered a cow from the unit at the request of the Deputy Governor on August 4, 2014.
“So, if as the unit as he (Onyebuchi) erroneously claims belongs to the Governor, why should it form part of the state’s annual budgets? Why would the Deputy Governor request the unit to slaughter cows for him from its livestock holding?
“It is important to clarify that the said Agric Unit is not within the Governor’s residential premises but a unit in Government House which has other units like the Press unit, Drivers unit, among others. The Agric unit serves the purpose of holding livestock for periodic slaughter for use by Government House staff, the Governor’s lodge and the Deputy Governor’s lodge. It was on the strength of this fact that he (Onyebuchi) requested the staff of the unit to slaughter a cow for him from the unit’s holding on August 4, 2014, and this was done.”
•Rewritten from a Guardian report. Photo shows embattled Enugu Deputy Governor Onyebuchi.
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