The impeachment noose hanging on the neck of the embattled Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Sunday Onyebuchi, was tightened yesterday as the House of Assembly passed a motion asking the Clerk, Christopher Chukwurah, to serve the impeachment notice on him through substituted means.
As if waiting to be directed, the clerk shortly after yesterday, sitting proceeded to the official residence of the deputy governor at the Government House as well as his private residence within the city to hand over the six-page document.
This is coming as strong indications emerged that the deputy governor had been in Abuja, lobbying notable stakeholders from the state and beyond to help save his job.
He was said to have also visited top leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja exonerating himself of any wrongdoing.
Apparently as a result of his lobby mission in Abuja which was equally seen as subtle way of evading service of the impeachment notice as required by the constitution, the deputy governor could not attend the weekly State Executive Council meeting which held Wednesday evening at the Government House, Enugu with Governor Sullivan Chime presiding.
But, incensed by the inability of the clerk to serve the impeachment notice on the deputy governor 48 hours after he was directed to do so, the assembly reaffirmed its determination to go on with the impeachment as it asked the clerk to carry out the assignment without further hinderance.
The clerk had informed the assembly through an affidavit he personally deposed during its Thursday sitting that he had been unable to serve the embattled deputy governor because of his non-availability in the state since last Tuesday.
Following the information, the Leader of the House, Hon. S.K.E. Udeh Okoye, had moved a motion asking that the notice of impeachment be served through substituted means.
The motion, which was seconded by the Deputy Leader and member representing Uzo-Uwani State Constituency, John Ukuta, had prayed the assembly to mandate the clerk to post the impeachment notice at three different places including the gate of the deputy dovernor’s official residence in the Government House, the gate of his private residence at salvage crescent, GRA, Enugu and sending it to his email address.
The assembly after accepting the motion unanimously with all the 24 members present adjourned sitting till Thursday next week, when the issue is expected to resume for further debate.
When contacted on whether or not the notice had been served as directed by the assembly, the Public Relations Officer, Jonas Ugwuanyi, confirmed the service.
The assembly presided over by the Speaker, Eugene Odoh, had on Tuesday commenced impeachment proceedings against the deputy governor, accusing him of committing various acts of misconduct that bother on abuse of office and disobedience to the lawful directive of the governor.
The governor had shortly after the notice of impeachment against his deputy issued by the assembly, told THISDAY exclusively that he had given the deputy governor the option of resigning from his position before the commencement of the impeachment proceedings against him. The governor said before the problem between him and his deputy blew open, he had tolerated a lot from him all in a bid to protect “our common family called PDP.”
He said rather than possibly accepting the option of resigning and show remorse over his activities, the deputy governor remained defiant.