Court nullifies impeachment of Imo deputy governor

A high court sitting in Owerri, Imo state capital, has nullified the impeachment of Eze Madumere, deputy governor of the state.

Benjamin Iheka, the presiding judge, held that Madumere’s impeachment did not follow due process, therefore making it illegal.

Iheka flayed Paschal Nnadi, chief judge of the state, and Militus Nlemadim, the commissioner for justice, for not adhering to the provisions of section 188(5) of the 1999 constitution as amended in the impeachment.

On July 10, the state house of assembly commenced impeachment proceedings against the governor and on July 31, the lawmakers announced that he had been removed.

But the judge said the seven-man panel constituted to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct against Madumere acted outside the seven days lifeline provided by the constitution.

The house set up the committee headed by Kennedy Ibe, member representing Obowo local government area, to probe the allegations and report back within seven days.

The 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.

Madumere emerged deputy governor following the ousting of Jude Agabso.

However, his governorship ambition pitched him against Rochas Okorocha, the incumbent governor.

While Okorocha is rooting for Uche Nwosu, his son-in-law, Madumere is banking on the support of some influential politicians in the state.

Okorocha and Madumere belong to two different factions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.