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Court declares Imo deputy governor impeachment illegal
THE impeachment of the Imo State Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, from office has been declared illegal by the State High Court on Tuesday.
Madumere was impeached from office on July 31 of this year by 19 out of the 27 members of the State House of Assembly following an allegation of misconduct.
He was accused of abandoning his duties for a long time and refusing to carry out official duties assigned to him by the governor, as well as an alleged concealment of felonious acts in the United States.
The high court sitting in Owerri, Imo state capital, ruled that the impeachment did not follow due process, therefore making it illegal.
The presiding judge, Justice Benjamin Iheka, who made the announcement on Tuesday, ordered Madumere to resume office as the Deputy Governor of the state.
Justice Iheka blamed the state’s Chief Judge Pascal Nnadi who set up a seven-man committee against Madumere and Miletus Nlemadi, the commissioner of Justice for not complying with 188 sub-section 5 of the 1999 constitution as amended.
The constitution stipulates that the Chief Judge must set up a 7-man panel of inquiry within 7 days but on the contrary, the Chief Judge did after 9 days, which according to the constitution makes the impeachment process invalid, null and void.
There has been a crisis between Madumere and governor Rochas Okorocha, following the former declaration to vie for the post of the governorship in 2019. While Mr Madumere insists on running for governor on the platform of the governing APC, Mr Okorocha reportedly backs his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu who is also the current chief of staff as his likely successor.