The Imo State House of Assembly has begun the impeachment proceeding against Deputy Governor Eze Madumere over allegations of gross misconduct and dereliction of duty.
A petition submitted by the Deputy Speaker, Nnanna Ozuruigbo, and signed by 13 of the 27 lawmakers, accused Madumere of absconding from his office for more than three months without permission.
Other allegations were his refusal to carry out official duties assigned him by the governor, refusal to attend State Executive Council (SEC) meetings, refusal to hold meetings with the governor and commissioners and imprisonment for theft in the United States of America (USA).
Madumere has been having a running battle with his boss, Governor Rochas Okorocha, for his governorship ambition which saw him aligning with other politicians against the governor.
The Speaker, Acho Ihim, said the petition has met and surpassed the required one third votes, as provided in Section 188 (2) 11 of the 1999 Constitution.
But Madumere, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Uche Onwuchekwa, denied the allegations of misconduct.
The statement reads: “The claim of absence is rather an old ploy of calling a dog a bad name to hang it. Fortunately, the deputy governor is an administrator per excellence who does not joke with his duties, especially his constitutional responsibilities. He did not abscond from office during the period so claimed.
“Allegations that Madumere refused to attend State Executive Council meetings cannot stand any administrative procedure. There are laid down procedures through which a Deputy Governor, or any member of the executive council, can be invited for executive council meetings. We, hereby, state that the deputy governor was never invited for such meetings, either through a memo or any official notices.
“The allegation of concealment of felonious conduct affecting the presentation of self as eligible candidate of office of Deputy Governor of Imo State is not only astonishing, but an extreme show of lack of due diligence. Prince Madumere has never been convicted of any civil matter, let alone theft.
“We are pained to state that two times he lost his freedom in detention were all in the course of saving Governor Rochas Okorocha from public disgrace; he carried Okorocha’s cross and bore his shame.
“Madumere, shortly after Achike Udenwa’s victory in 1999, faced contempt of court for failure to appear in court because he was in detention in the United States for about one month because he was delayed by Okorocha. But thank God he was acquitted of any wrong doing.
“The second time he had to stoop that Governor Okorocha may be spared of the humiliation of getting incarcerated, Prince Madumere again yielded and was detained for almost two months on phony charges, which he also been absolved of.”