UPDATED: Court Stops Swearing-In Of New Imo Deputy Governor

 

A High Court in Owerri, the Imo State Capital, has stopped the swearing-in of Mr Calistus Ekenze as the new Deputy Governor of the state.

The court issued an interim order stopping the swearing-in ceremony after it was approached by Mr Eze Madumere who is challenging his impeachment as deputy governor of the state.

News of the ruling came in on Tuesday morning just as Mr Ekenze was about to be sworn in.

Top government officials had started gathering at the Sam Mbakwe Exco Chambers inside the Government House in Owerri where the swearing-in was supposed to take place as early as 10 am.

But just after waiting for over two hours for the commencement of the ceremony, the Imo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for justice, Miletus Nlemadim, announced that the state government had complied with a fresh order from the court preventing the Chief Judge of the state, Pascal Nnadi, from swearing-in Mr Ekenze.

Imo State Attorney-General, Miletus-Nlemadim, informed those gathered for the swearing-in ceremony about the court ruling.

According to the Attorney-General, the state government is law-abiding and respects the rule of law and as such obeyed the court order.

He, however, explained that the state government is doing everything possible to vacate the order to enable the state government to swear in the deputy governor designate on a future date.

Meanwhile, the state Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has urged all parties to be calm and obey the court order to prevent any breakdown of law and order in the state.

Imo State Governor Rochas Okorcha had nominated Mr Ekenze as deputy governor after the impeachment of Mr Eze Madumere.

The Imo State House of Assembly impeached Mr Madumere on Monday when 19 out of 27 members backed his removal.

 

Mr Callistus Ekenze

According to the Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Acho Ihim, Mr Madumere’s impeachment followed the report of a seven-man panel, constituted by the Chief Judge of the state to investigate allegations of gross misconduct.

Immediately after, the Speaker read a letter from Governor Okorocha nominating Ekenze, the Head of Service in the state, as the new deputy governor.

19 out of 27 members of the Imo State House of Assembly backed the removal of Mr Eze Madumere as Deputy Governor

Imo Assembly Impeaches Deputy Governor

Deputy Governor of Imo State, Eze Madumere

 

The Imo State House of Assembly has impeached the Deputy Governor, Mr Eze Madumere.

He was impeached on Monday by 19 out of the 27 member-assembly.

The Speaker of the House, Acho Ihim, said the impeachment followed the outcome of a report of a 7-man panel, constituted by the Chief Judge of the state to investigate allegations of gross misconduct.

The allegations were premised on four reasons which included his absence without reasons for a period of three months and a failure to perform constitutional duties like attending state executive and state security council meetings.

Others included his alleged failure to attend meetings with the governor and other government functionaries as well as an alleged concealment of felonious acts in the United States.

Meanwhile, Mr Callistus Ekenze, who was until this morning the Head of Service in the state has been nominated by the governor as the new deputy.

The Speaker read out the nomination letter on the floor of the house immediately after the impeachment.


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This comes hours after some lawmakers in the Benue Assembly served an impeachment notice on the Governor, Samuel Ortom.

The development came after the governor defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last week.

Days after, the speaker of the house, Mr Terkimbi Ikyange, was impeached and eventually suspended for allegedly mobilising police personnel to the assembly complex to deny members access to the chamber.

FG Commissions 100-Unit Housing Estate In Imo

FG Commissions 100-Unit Housing Estate In ImoThe Federal Government has successfully completed a 100-unit housing estate in Imo State under the Ministerial Pilot Housing Project of the Ministry of Power, Works and Hosing.

The project was built through the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria to provide low cost housing for public workers across Nigeria.

The Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Shehuri, said the Federal Government through the ministry would continue to strive to ensure that the challenge of housing deficit in Nigeria was surmounted.

He added that it was government’s plan to build mass housing units across the country for public workers over the next three years through a Public-Private Partnership arrangement.

The minister was speaking in company of the Imo State Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, who represented Governor Rochas Okorocha at the commissioning of the housing unit at Naze industrial layout in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

He explained that national housing models have been designed and approved for each geo-political zone, to ensure the use of standard building materials.

“This housing unit is a Private-Public Partnership (PPP) arrangement which will be affordable to Nigerians, especially public servants.

“The Federal Government through the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has signed a two billion Naira MoU with Shelter Afri (an African shelter company), to build affordable houses for Nigerians.

“So I want to call on workers in Imo State to take advantage of this scheme,” Shehuri said.

Hope To Middle Class Earners

Commending the Federal Government for the project, Mr Madumere said the project would go a long way to complement the policies of the State Government in providing affordable housing units for workers in the state.

He disclosed that the State Government was already in talks with the labour union in Imo State on the matter.

“This housing scheme is apt and what the state needs at this critical time; Imo residents need roofs over their heads. This is giving hope to the middle class earners.

“For us, it is a commendable effort. My leader and Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, is ever ready to continue to partner with the Federal Government in such programmes and projects, since it is geared towards making life better for the people of Imo State,” the Deputy Governor said.

In his address, the Managing Director of the mortgage bank, Mr Richard Esin, said the bank and the project have become effective vehicles through which the Federal Government actualises its policy for the provision of affordable housing for Nigerians.

He added that with the consistent contributions of the National Housing Fund Scheme, Nigerian workers would become eligible for mortgage loans at concessionary interest rates of 6% per annum.

“Through this scheme, over 2200 houses have been built for public workers by the Federal Government in all the six geo-political zones of the country. This in turn will surely address the housing deficit in the country,” Mr Esin said.

Climax of the occasion was the launch and cutting of the tape of the housing estate as the dignitaries were taken on a tour round the facility.

The 100-unit housing estate comprises of 48 units of 3-bedroom fully detached bungalows, 40 units of 2-bedroom semi-detached bungalows and 12 units of 1-bedroom terrace.

As disclosed by the mortgage bank, the sum of 592.3 million Naira was invested for the development of the 100-unit housing estate.

Okorocha Asks Corps Members To Lead ‘Buy Made In Nigeria’ Campaign

NYSC to push Made In Nigeria campaignThe Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has urged National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members to join the campaign for patronage of Made in Nigeria goods in order to grow and develop locally made products to address present economic challenges.

The governor’s message was conveyed by the Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, to the corps members during the official opening of the Orientation Course for the 2016 Batch ‘B’ Stream II Corps members deployed to Imo State.

Mr Madumere stressed that buying Made in Nigeria products would help galvanise Nigerian economy and put it on the part of growth and sustainable development.

The nation’s economy is currently in recession.

“The initiative will not only encourage Nigerian investors but will spur other Nigerians to put to work their ingenuity in bringing solutions to Nigerian myriad problems since there will be a guaranteed market thereby saving foreign exchange,” he stressed.

The deputy governor, however, urged the corps members to partner with the Imo State government in its Back to Land Policy, which is one of the State government’s effort to boosting agricultural activities and agro-allied business in the State.

He reminded the corps members deployed to Imo State of the essence of NYSC scheme, which remains unity, love, patriotism and spirit of brotherhood.

Mr Madumere further assured the corps members that the Okorocha-led administration in the state was committed to ensuring that the corps members were comfortable throughout their service year.

Earlier in his address, the State Coordinator of the NYSC scheme in Imo State, Mr Olugbodi James, averred that the scheme placed high premium on the orientation course since it was a prelude to other major programmes lined up for a given service year.

He highlighted that it was organised to promote discipline, encourage positive attitude and introduce them to available skills and ventures through noble skills acquisition, entrepreneurial development.

He also expressed gratitude to Governor Okorocha for numerous projects he had carried out for the scheme, informing the corps members that the governor had promised to build extra two structures as requested by the scheme.

Leadership Begins With Vision, Imo Govt. Tells Students

Leadership Begins With Vision Imo Govt. Tells StudentsThe Imo state government has urged students in secondary schools to live up to expectation by imbibing leadership qualities that are legacy driven.

The Deputy Governor of Imo State, Eze Madumere made this call in Owerri the Imo state capital southeast Nigeria during the inauguration of the new executive members of the National Union of Imo State Students (NUISS).

Delivering a lecture with the theme “Dare to be Different”, the Deputy Governor warned student leaders against making the mistakes of some of their predecessors who preferred momentary gains to leaving a legacy that will see them through in life.

He advised them to eschew decadence and embrace leadership qualities of vision, sacrifice, team spirit, hardwork and leaving good legacies for posterity sake.

“Great leaders never lose sight of their goal. Leadership begins with vision and end with mobilizing the people to reaching a goal of greatness.

“So, leadership is not a selfish engagement, and never a vocation for the greed. You are only sacrificing your time, energy and your intellect with a view to bringing desired positive change in the psyche of the people you lead”.

He urged them to emulate role models like Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state who chose to work and sacrifice for a brighter future for the present younger generation of Imo State through his free education policy and other people-oriented policies.

Mr Madumere warned the students against cyber-crime and unrestrained release of immoral photos, videos and other materials, the practice he said might be counterproductive and limiting to them in the future.

Speaking earlier, the Patron of the National Union of Imo State Students and Chief of Staff to the Imo state government, Uche Nwosu, advised the newly elected leaders to be of good behavior and law abiding assuring them of government support while their tenure lasts.

Responding on behalf of his executive members and the legislative arm of the body, the new President of NUISS, Nzeh Franklin, promised to defend the constitution of the student body and live up to the expectation of the watching public by their good conduct and performance.

Imo Govt. Demolishes Houses Owned By Suspected Kidnappers

Imo, KidnappersThe Imo State government has demolished buildings said to be owned by suspected kidnappers in Ohoba community in Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area of the state.

The Imo State Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, who led the team to Ohoba community disclosed this to reporters in southeast Nigeria.

He vowed that the state government would continue to resist any form of illegal and ill-gotten wealth in the state, especially through kidnapping and armed robbery.

“We will be committing an unpardonable sin by allowing those with ill-gotten wealth to continue to parade themselves as successful people,” he said.

Mr Madumere said that the action would also serve as a deterrent to others who may have plans to make money through such illegal means.

In his words, the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Taiwo Lakanu, said that the demolition was to ensure that strategies and structures that would prevent carnage in the state were put in place.

“We are trying to ensure that we put a total end to crime and criminality (and) this will send a strong message to those using seed money to build houses and to villagers, especially those who are supporting them,” he said.

The Police Commissioner said that the suspected kidnappers whose houses were being demolished were already in Police custody.

Christian Group Condemns Activities Of Herdsmen In South East

Nimbo-Community-EnuguThe Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Imo State Chapter, has condemned the activities of herdsmen in the south-east, with special reference to their alleged killings and burning of several churches in Enugu State.

The Association in a peaceful protest to the Government House in Owerri, the capital of Imo State, carried placards with various inscriptions also kicked against the proposed National grazing bill by the National Assembly.

Leading the protest, the Imo State Chairman of CAN, Bishop Stafford Nwogu, called on the Federal Government to immediately caution the herdsmen in the south-east to prevent any reprisal attack.

The Christian association further called on the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, to liaise with the Federal Government to end the incessant killing of innocent people by the herdsmen while discarding the proposed national grazing bill.

They claimed that the bill would create room for crises in the polity of the Nation.

Addressing the protesters, the Imo State Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, applauded the association for expressing their fundamental human rights through the peaceful protest.

He assured them that the Federal government was working tirelessly to cub any further attacked by the herdsmen.

Mr Madumere reminded them that the Imo State Governor, his counterparts in the south-east and the All Progressives Congress had met to also support the Federal Government in finding a lasting solution to the ugly menace and bringing the perpetrators to book.

Imo First Lady Launches Vocational Centre

Imo State vocational centreThe Wife of the Imo State Governor, Mrs Nkechinyere Okorocha, has built and commissioned a skills acquisition and empowerment centre in the state.

The vocational centre, which was built and commissioned in collaboration with the Imo State government, is aimed at tutoring and empowering unemployed youths in becoming self-reliant, employers of labour, as well as great entrepreneurs.

At the commissioning of the Nneoma Skills Acquisition and Empowerment Centre in Orlu Local Government Area, Governor Rochas Okorocha, who was represented by the Imo State Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, said the initiative was in line with the vision of the second phase of the rescue mission agenda.

According to the deputy governor, the agenda was to provide jobs and employment for unwaged youths and to create enabling environment for small scale businesses and cottage industries.

In her speech, Mrs Okorocha said that rather than waiting for white collar jobs, the skill acquisition centre, which has highly qualified instructors and professional equipment would help unemployed youths to learn and grow their own business and hopefully become partners in progress with the government and also foster economic development.

Some guests at the event commended the efforts of the Imo State government and the first lady for the laudable achievements, stressing that it would go a long way to address youth unemployment in the state.

The unemployed youths would get three to six months free training on vocational skills such as fashion designing, cosmetology, photography, catering, hair dressing and computer training that would yield great results by producing entrepreneurs and employers of labour in the nearest future.

A total number of 120 students were admitted into the first phase of the six- month programme for Orlu zone and the organisers also disclosed that the centre would be replicated in Owerri and Okigwe senatorial districts of Imo State.

Imo State Earmarks 5bn Naira For Development And Agro-based Activities

Rochas-OkorochaThe Imo State government says it has set aside five billion Naira for massive development and transformation of its rural communities.

To drive the project, 305 Government Liaison Officers (GLOs) representing each of the 305 Independent National Electoral Commission’s Wards in the state were inaugurated on Monday.

At the inauguration of the GLOs held at the Sam Mbakwe Executive Chambers in Government House Owerri, Governor Rochas Okorocha said that the primary aim of the officials was to drive the government’s policies and programmes in their respective wards for progress, development and rural transformation.

One main issue faced by most rural communities in Nigeria is that of gross underdevelopment especially lack of basic amenities and infrastructure such as good roads and good infrastructure. This obviously has a sharp contrast to the urban areas.

To Imo State’s initiative is aimed at addressing this issue.

Creating Wealth

The GLOs, who basically are top government appointees in the state, will embark on a feasible project that will touch and change the lives and well-being of people in the different communities and also liaise with the government on necessary steps and actions to be taken to develop the communities.

The Governor urged the newly inaugurated GLOs to go back to their various wards and work out how to create jobs and take charge of the eco-system.

He also advised them to create all the enabling environment for transformation that would make the state the hub of the economic drive of the south-east and by extension the nation.

Governor Okorocha explained that the money set aside was majorly to sponsor agricultural activities in the wards with the purpose of creating wealth.

On behalf of the GLOs, the Imo state Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, commended the Governor for the trust reposed in them, optimistic that, with the calibre of people inaugurated as GLOs, the set objective would be achieved in no distant time.

With the new development, hopefully in no distant time, If the government and the GLOs matched words with action, Imo citizens would begin to see drastic changes and development in the rural communities.

Senate Committee Inspects Erosion Sites, Federal Highways In Imo

Senate Committee Inspects Erosion Sites, Federal Highways In ImoThe Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Works on Tuesday made a fact finding visit to Imo State, South-East Nigeria to access the bad condition of federal highways and erosion sites across the state.

Senator Barnabas Gemade, who led the committee, said that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was desirous to tackle the long decay and neglect of infrastructural development in the country.

They noted that it was unfortunate that over the years, most federal roads in the South-East such as the Owerri-Port Harcourt, Owerri-Onitsha, Owerri-Okigwe federal roads and many more have suffered dilapidation due to lack of proper maintenance by previous governments.

They however assured the people of the state that they would forward their findings to the Federal government and advice accordingly.

Despite the Erosion Control Project earlier initiated, the Imo State government said the erosion control project was too much to handle and called for support from the federal government.

Senator Gemade promised to rally support from the federal government through the Ecological Fund Office and also ensure that after the raining season, work would commence on most of the federal highways.

The Deputy Governor of Imo State, Eze Madumere, who received the Senators and accompanied them to the erosion site commended the effort of the committee on their visit.

Mr Madumere urged them to speed up their resolutions to the federal government so as to alleviate the sufferings of the residents of the state.

Residents In Flood Prone Areas In Imo Advised To Relocate

SEMA Urges Imo Flood Victims To Relocate To Upper LandsResidents and indigenes of Oguta Local Government Area (LGA) living around flood prone areas have been advised to relocate to upper lands where their lives and property will be adequately secured, pending the time the ravaging flood will reduce.

The passionate appeal was issued on Monday by the Executive Secretary of the Imo State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mrs Uche Ezeonyeasi, who visited the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp set up to house some flood victims in Oguta area.

 

She handed over to the displaced persons additional relief materials made available by the State government.

The Imo State government, through the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC) had earlier provided relief materials to the flood victims.

Mrs Ezeonyeasi, however, noted that since flood was a natural disaster that could not be averted, SEMA had already done several sensitisation for the people of the zone prior to this time.

She disclosed that no lives were lost at the moment, but several homes and farmlands were badly affected.

According to her, the relief materials are to alleviate the sufferings of the flood victims.

The Imo State Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, also visited the flood victims to sympathise with them and also promised them of the State government’s support and care.

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) had issued an alert that there would be flood in some particular zones in the country of which Imo State was one of them.

 

Imo NSCDC Arrests Suspected Oil Thieves And Armoured Cable Vandals

NSCDCThe Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Imo State Command has arrested seven suspects alleged to be involved in illegal sales and adulteration of stolen crude oil, as well as three suspects who are into vandalism and selling of armoured Nitel cables.

Parading the suspects at the command headquarters in Owerri, the Imo State capital, the State Commandant, Pedro Ideba, said the suspects had been in the business for over a long period of time.

They had beaten different security checkpoints by deceiving security operatives, with lorries meant for transporting sands and chippings to smuggle stolen crude oil into the state.

The suspected thieves were said to have covered the adulterated product with sand under the guise of transporting sand and chippings to their construction sites.

He also said a tip-off by some vigilant members of the public, with efforts by his men, traced the suspects to the point of arrest in Owerri where they were caught when trying to sell these adulterated products.

While sounding a note of warning to economic saboteurs who indulge in the line of business, Mr Ideba said it would not be business as usual as the NSCDC Imo Command remained committed to protecting government infrastructures and bring economic sabotage to its barest minimal.

In a similar development, the command also paraded a group led by one Joel Samuel, suspected to have been responsible for excavating and selling armoured Nitel cables and high tension wires.

However, the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Eze Madumere, who was present while the suspects were being paraded, commended the command for their recent breakthrough while also warning that the state government would not spare anyone who sabotages the economy of the State and Nation.

He added that the Okorocha-led administration would stop at nothing to ensure that residents of the State were protected from economic sabotage and other crimes.

The command has promised to charge the suspects to court for prosecuted and face the necessary punishment as stipulated by the law.

Items recovered from them are, drums of adulterated crude oil, generators, pumping machine, jerrycans, as well as two lorries used in conveying the products.