By Tony Edike
ENUGU—Indications emerged, yesterday, that the embattled Deputy Governor of Enugu state, Chief Sunday Onyebuchi, may only consider resigning from office if the panel to be constituted to handle the allegations against him was manipulated.
Some members of the state Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, caucus that met with Governor Sullivan Chime on Saturday, following the directive of the National Working Committee, NWC, had asked the deputy governor to resign or risk impeachment but others who believed that he had not committed any serious offence to warrant his being forced out of office, kicked against it.
CJ may constitute panel next week
Sources said the State House of Assembly may next week empower the State Chief Judge to constitute a panel to probe the allegations against the deputy governor should he fail to announce his resignation before then.
The development came as Onyebuchi’s kinsmen from Enugu East senatorial zone (Nkanu land) cautioned former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, over his alleged “meddlesome role”, which they said had further escalated the matter.
Nnamani and the spoiler role
Nnamani, who also hails from Nkanu land, said he had “chosen to be a spoiler rather than a father who should play the reconciliatory role”.
Sources said yesterday that though Nnamani had championed the call on the deputy governor to resign or risk impeachment, having allowed his relationship with the governor to derail irredeemably, Onyebuchi “is not willing to succumb to the calls as he is certain that the allegations which have seriously being deflated are merely to undermine him.
‘Onyebuchi won’t be cowed to resign’
“He will not be cowed to resignation. If he is sure that the panel is one that can look at the issues dispassionately, I tell you, he will face them because he has not done nothing wrong. He will only decide not to face them if the panel is manipulated and filled with person with a mind set.
“If you look at the entire thing so far, you will discover that their claim that he did not represent the governor at the flag off ceremony of the second Niger Bridge has been defeated. That is loss number one and so shall others. Even if he is resigning, he will like to clear his name.”
The PDP state caucus meeting held at the weekend, which the embattled deputy governor was not invited, was divided over the impeachment move.
Second chance for Onyebuchi
While serving members of the National Assembly wanted a second chance for Onyebuchi, former National Assembly members, led by Ken Nnamani, wanted him to resign in what looked like the continuation of the “war” against members of the now hated Ebeano political family left in Chime’s administration.
Senator Gilbert Nnaji, who represents his zone, Enugu East, House of Reps members including Princess Peace Nnaji and Patrick Asadu had reportedly pleaded that the governor tamper justice with mercy and rescind his decision in the interest of the party.
Asadu was said to have asked that the meeting be rescheduled to enable the embattled deputy governor be present to apologize to the governor but Fidel Okoro and Dubem Onyia had contrary views, insisting that having allowed their ugly relationship to become a public knowledge, he should resign or face impeachment.