Ebonyi Assembly Saga: Umahi Sets up Committee to Investigate

Ebonyi state Governor, Engr. David Umahi on 20th December, 2019, set up a seven-man committee to investigate the alleged attack on a member of the state Assembly, Hon. Chinedu Onah last Wednesday.

The Governor inaugurated the committee while signing 2020 budget of N178bn passed by the state House of Assembly into Law at Exco Chambers, Government House, Abakaliki.

The lawmaker, representing Ohaukwu South State Constituency in the State House of Assembly had issues with Chairman of Ohaukwu Local Government Area, Hon. Clement Odah at the state Assembly complex in Nkaliki during the screening of Management Committee members from the 13 Local Government Areas of the state.

The nominees for the positions were sent to the Assembly by the government for screening

and confirmation, but four nominees from Ohaukwu Local Government Area were stepped down by the House during the screening, forcing the council Chairman, Odah to visit the house and know why his nominees were stepped down.

Odah and Onah had issues inside the committee room and the Council Chairman allegedly slapped the Lawmaker, an action that sparked off protests and counter protests in the state on Thursday by Odah’s supporters and that of Onah.

Leader of the Assembly, Victor Chukwu moved a motion calling for immediate arrest and prosecution of the council Chairman over the incident. The motion was unanimously adopted by the Assembly members over the matter.

The Governor while inaugurating the committee condemned the action of council chairman saying that he has no reason to have visited the house in the first place.

Members of the committee include former Minister of Culture and Tourism, Chef Frank Nchita Ogbuewu as Chairman, former Vice Chancellor of Ebonyi State University (EBSU), Professor Chigozie Ogbu, former Minister of State for Health, Chief Fidelis Nwankwo, former Minister of State for Power and Steel, Chief Goddy Ogbaga, the Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB), Chief Hyacinth Ikpor, Professor Michael Awoke and former Head of Service in the state, Chief Dominic Aja who will serve as Secretary of the Committee.

The governor said the committee has two weeks to submit its report.

He said “let me condemn seriously the behaviour of the Chairman of Ohaukwu in going into House of Assembly in the first place. I don’t want to talk about what happened there but this is very wrong.”

“Imagine if an assembly member goes into the office of a commissioner to quarrel. Not to talk about the hallowed chamber of the House of Assembly because it is what you call your wife or husband that he or she will be.”

“So everywhere in the world, the parliament chamber is always a sacred place that people don’t desecrate and that is why we have set up a neutral committee; people that are not from the State House of Assembly or the state Executive Council to investigate what happened and report back to me. I want the House to be patient, the public should be patient, let’s get to the root of the matter and then we will handle it as it should be.”

On Revenue drive, the Governor said that there would be no sacred cow in getting IGR for the state in 2020.

He said, “There were be no sacred cow in this state in getting IGR. You pay in Abuja, pay in Lagos, pay in Enugu but when you come to Ebonyi, you will not pay. There will not be anything like that. I am ready to quarrel with anybody and Internal Revenue Board should use whatever

that is of my interest and set example. Yes we have a budget of N178bn, Enugu has N169bn. So, we will do everything possible to see that we succeed in this budget. There is so much that people are collecting but it is not remitted to government, we will not allow it to continue in 2020.”

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