By Tony Edike
ENUGU—The impeachment panel investigating allegations against Enugu State Deputy Governor, Sunday Onyebuchi, yesterday, summoned Mrs Ifeoma Nwobodo, Chief of Staff to Governor Sullivan Chime and three other officials of the government to testify on some critical issues that arose in the course of the panel’s proceedings.
Their summon was at the instance of the embattled deputy governor who, through his counsel, Chris Aghanwa, applied that they be summoned to clear some of the grey areas in the submissions earlier made by some prosecution witnesses regarding the alleged offences committed by the deputy governor.
One of the lawyers at the panel told Vanguard after yesterday’s sitting that those summoned by the Panel include the Permanent Secretary, Government House, Mr. Aja, Special Assistant to the Governor on Investment, Mr. Victor Atuonwu, Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Chukwudi Achife, as well as some personal staff of the deputy governor.
To testify on three major charges
The counsel said they were to testify on issues relating to the three major charges, including the controversial evacuation of birds from the deputy governor’s poultry and his alleged refusal to represent the governor at two events.
Protests over restriction placed on media
The panel’s proceeding, which has continued amid protests by some groups over the restriction placed against media coverage, was reportedly characterised by long arguments between the defence counsels and the prosecution counsels, led by Nduka Ikeyi.
However, the panel, after considering submissions by both counsels, acceded to Onyebuchi’s request that the Chief of Staff and the three government officials be invited to appear before the panel and that the summon be pasted at the doors of their respective offices.
Evacuation of poultry at Govt House
This came even as a Government House source said yesterday that the poultry being operated within the Government House by the governor behind his lodge was evacuated last Tuesday night.
‘The staff in-charge of the poultry were invited by a senior government official yesterday and warned not to admit that there was a poultry similar to that of the deputy governor inside Government House. This was done ahead of the anticipated visit of the panel to inspect the Government House poultry which Onyebuchi had said was built at the same time his, under defunct Eastern Regional Government of Dr M.I. Okpara,” the source said.
Meanwhile, the deputy governor is expected to open his defence today, even as the four officials invited by the panel are also billed to appear today.