Imo Deputy Governor, Madumere impeached, state head of service appointed as replacement

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The Deputy Governor of Imo State, Eze Madumere, was on Monday impeached by 19 of the 37 members of the Imo House of Assembly. The Assembly went on to appoint the state Head of Service, Mr Callistus Ekenze as the new deputy governor of Imo state.

The confirmation was after the Majority leader of the House, Mr. Lugard Osuji, moved the motion for the adoption of Ekenze, as Madumere’s replacement.

Ekenze is from the same Mbaitoli local government area, of the impeached deputy governor.

Madumere has been embroiled in a running political scuffle with the state Governor, Rochas Okorocha who reportedly supports his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu to succeed him rather than Madumere.

The Assembly had earlier received a report from a seven-member panel set up by the state chief judge which allegedly indicted the then deputy governor of gross misconduct.

The impeachment motion was moved by majority leader, Lugard Osuji, who represents Owerri Municipal; and seconded by Victor Onyewuchi, representing Owerri West LGA.

Nineteen other lawmakers then supported the motion which ousted Madumere.

The sack occurred at a time when a court in the state restrained the lawmakers and the state chief Judge, Paschal Nnadi, of any further action on the impeachment proceedings against the embattled deputy governor until the matter was decided by the court.

An Owerri High Court judge, Benjamin Iheka, gave an interim order restraining the seven-member panel constituted by the chief judge of the state from submitting its report, thus halting the removal proceedings.

Newsworth recalls that on July 10, the assembly commenced impeachment proceedings against Madumere.

Ugonna Ozuruigbo, the deputy speaker of the House had moved the motion that the impeachment notice be served on him.

The former deputy governor was accused of abandoning his duties for a long time and refusing to carry out official duties assigned to him by the governor, among others.

The House set up a six-man committee headed by Kennedy Ibe, member representing Obowo Local Government Area to probe the allegations and report back within seven days.

The crisis between Okorocha and the former number-two Imo citizen worsened during the APC local and state congresses in the state with Okorocha and his deputy supporting separate factions.

Although the APC faction supported by Madumere and Senator Osita Izunaso, was initially recognised by the national leadership of the party, but the election conducted by the faction was upturned by the court. Madumere is seeking to succeed Okorocha, who is widely reported to be supporting his son-in-law as successor.

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