IMO state Deputy governor impeached, court stops swearing in of new deputy governor

Nneteen 19 out of 27 members of the State House of Assembly had on Monday, July 30, impeached the former Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere following the submission last Friday, of the report of the Panel that investigated the allegations against him. Thereafter, the House of Assembly cleared the state Head of Service, Callistus Ekenze as the deputy governor designate. A High Court in Owerri, the Imo State Capital, has stopped the swearing-in of Calistus Ekenze as the new Deputy Governor of the state. The court issued an interim order stopping the swearing-in ceremony following a suit by Eze Madumere challenging his impeachment as Deputy Governor. Madumere was impeached on Monday 30th July by the Imo State House of Assembly after a six-man probe panel found him guilty of abandoning his duties, failing to carry out official duties assigned to him by the Governor and gross misconduct, among others. Immediately after Madumere’s removal, Acho Ihim, the Speaker, read a letter from Governor Rochas Okorocha nominating Ekenze, the Head of Service, as the new Deputy Governor. However, the impeachment is believed to be politically motivated, as Madumere wants to be become Governor in 2019, against the wishes of Okorocha, who has anointed his son-in-law and Chief of Staff, Uche Nwosu, for the position. After top government officials had waited for hours at the Sam Mbakwe Exco Chambers at the Government House in Owerri, Miletus Nlemadim, the Imo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, announced that Ekenze’s swearing-in by the Chief Judge of the state, Pascal Nnadi, had been suspended in compliance with a court order. Nlemadi explained that the state government, being law-abiding, would do everything possible to vacate the order before swearing in the Deputy Governor designate on a future date.

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