Mr. Sullivan Chime
Senator denies plan to impeach governor
By Christopher Isiguzo
Enugu State Governor, Mr. Sullivan Chime, who has been away from the state for about four months may return to the country by the middle of January, it was learnt Sunday.
THISDAY gathered that his planned return was to stop the gathering campaign by some stakeholders in the state to make the House of Assembly to impeach him.
However, one of the suspected arrowheads of the impeachment plot, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, who chairs the Senate committee on Communication, has denied being part of meeting where the possible impeachment of the embattled governor was discussed.
THISDAY checks revealed that series of meetings have been heldbetween and among different groups on how to lobby the state lawmakers to commence impeachment moves against the governor, having “remained incommunicado” for over 100 days.
A source close to the governor told THISDAY that efforts are currently being made to discharge the governor from a London hospital where he is currently being treated of a yet-to-be ascertained ailment, in bid to stop the plot to remove him from office.
“I can assure you that the governor will most likely be in the state before January 15, 2013. Though, he has not fully recovered, the reason is to bring him back so he could continue with his treatment here in the state.
“Also, by the time he comes back, all these rumours about his health conditions would have been laid to rest,” the source said.
Nnaji, who is being touted as leader of the impeachment group, Sunday said he was not part of a purported meeting where issues on the possible removal of the governor were discussed.
It was gathered that some politicians had met under the umbrella of the Ebeano political family, to discuss the seeming lull in government occasioned by the absence of the governor for about four months and plan a possible way out.
Investigations showed that the group has been lobbying principal officers of the state House of Assembly to impeach Chime.
The lawmakers, under the leadership of the Speaker, Hon. Eugene Odoh, were however said to be divided over the impeachment moves. The speaker was said to have acknowledged receiving many petitions urging the House to impeach the governor having left the state for so long without giving any clue as to his whereabouts.
Though, it was initially rumoured that Nnaji being a founding member of the Ebeano group, established and nurtured by Chime’s predecessor, Dr Chimaroke Nnamani, initiated the impeachment meeting, the senator denied it in a press statement.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I did not attend any meeting where Governor Sullivan Chime was the subject, particularly during this period of his vacation. I am rather preoccupied with the challenge of continued effective and responsive representation of my constituency,” he stated.
Chime had been away from the state since September 19, 2012 when he purportedly transmitted a letter to the House of Assembly informing the lawmakers of his intention to begin his annual leave and accordingly informing them that his deputy, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi, would function as acting governor in his absence.