Ebonyi Lawmakers Move To Impeach Speaker Over Gov Umahi’s Request

Members of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly are threatening to impeach the Speaker, Hon. Francis Nwifuru, who is also the governor-elect, if he refuses to resign.

This was made known in a document titled, ‘Ebonyi Speaker under fire to resign or risk impeachment,’ signed by the Public Relations Officer of the Assembly, Egede Sylvester, and obtained by The PUNCH.

According to the documents, members demanded the immediate resignation of Nwifuru, who has been the Speaker since 2015, and his deputy, Kingsley Ikoro, or they should face impeachment.

Speaking on behalf of his colleague, the Majority Leader of the House, Victor Chukwu, said, “The members of the House are no longer satisfied with the leadership of the House under the administration of Chief Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru and urge him to resign in his honour and for the betterment of the state Assembly and the state at large.”

On his part, the Speaker, Francis Nwifuru, said he had duly listened to their plea and thanked them for baring their grievances, urging them to tread with caution for the peace and development of the state.

However, sources told The PUNCH that the crisis in the Assembly was due to an alleged demand by Governor Dave Umahi for the approval of a new N33bn loan by the Assembly.

Umahi had reportedly written to the House demanding approval to borrow the money to enable him to complete specific projects before handing over on May 29, 2023.

A source said, “The House has approved the release of N6bn for the settlement of accumulated gratuities and pensions owed civil servants in the state since 2015 when Governor Umahi came into office.”

Reacting, the Speaker and Governor-elect, Nwifuru, said the only request from the executive arm of government was on remittances from the excess crude account.

The request was for 60 percent of the funds from the Excess Crude Account to be used to offset the state’s liabilities to the Federal Government. We duly approved the request, and you did not hear anything about loans,” he said.

On the impeachment threat, Nwifuru denied being aware of such a plot to remove him.

He said: “I did not hear such thing and do not know who told you about it. You should know that such report is fake. You should ask the Leader of the House and its Information Officer whom you claim told you such.”

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