“They’ve No Capacity To Suspend Me” – LP Chairman Reacts To Impeachment Saga

By Johnson Nwankwo

The chairman of the Labour Party in Udenu LGA of Enugu State, Hon Christopher Nwonu, Thursday, denied being impeached by his Excos, affirming that only the Local Government Working Committee of the party can impeach him.

Nwonu was reacting to a petition by members of the executive of the party in the LGA which passed a vote of no confidence on him. The petition was addressed to the national chairman of the party, Barr Julius Abure, and the secretary, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim.

The petition, signed by some party executives of the LGA including Christian Eze, acting secretary; Felix Oforbuike Amos, vice chairman I, Nnadi Ifeanyi; vice chairman II, announced the suspension of Hon Nwonu, and the transfer of the party’s leadership to the secretary of the exco, Hon Christian Eze.

According to Hon Nwonu, “The purported document suspending me isn’t signed by anybody. Anybody can write such and circulate. I remain the chairman of LP, Udenu. What is being circulated is not true. The people parading the document don’t even have the capacity to impeach or suspend me. It is the Local Government Working Committee that can issue such order on the instruction of the state chairman of the party. We held a meeting on July 1, and it went out well. We are totally in charge. Ask the state chairman of the party.”

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People&Politics recalls that the embattled chairman was accused of embezzling party funds and diverting some bags of rice meant for party faithful. The petitioners gave him seven days to submit the property of the party in his possession to the secretary. It was claimed in the petition that Nwonu was in January this year impeached, and a committee constituted to reconcile the differences in the party. The petitioners claimed that he did not cooperate with the committee, alleging that he ran the affairs of the party single-handedly “to pave way for his ignoble motives of embezzling the party’s funds”.

He was also accused of borrowing funds in the name of the party for his personal use, as well as not conducting meetings.

The petitioners also alleged that Nwonu could not account for the N500, 000 the party realised during the chairmanship primaries of the party, in addition to the N100, 000 given to the party by Hon Dennis Agbo, former member of the House of Representatives.

The petitioners said Hon Nwonu had refused to render accounts of his stewardship as he was mandated to do within three months, adding that instead he launched a campaign of calumny against the committee to frustrate the efforts to bring him to book.

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They claimed that, “We were tagged ‘Apapa group’ and accused of collecting N50,000 from an unknown person to fight the chairman.” The chairman, they claimed, however, admitted owing N260,000 instead.

Quoting the petition, “When it dawned on him that we are not relenting on bringing him to account for his stewardship, he claimed that every other money we are asking from him was used to run his office and that we lack powers to investigate how such money was spent.

“The chairman also claimed to have paid the sum of N50, 000 to engage the services of what he called ‘non-conventional securities’, which he adopted as a cover-up.”

On the alleged diversion of bags of rice, the petitioners claimed that “it was only the chairman that went to the venues to pick these bags of rice even when we have Welfare Officer and Organizing Secretary”.

The rice was donated as palliatives by Senator Okey Ezea representing Enugu North in the Senate and Hon Dennis Agbo, erstwhile member representing Udenu/Igboeze North Federal Constituency.

They added, “An unspecified amount of money was given to the chairman to fix our party office to enable us to hold meetings there before the elections. Till today, no reason has been adduced as to the stage of work in the said office.”

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They described him as “an unrepentant hypocrite, an embezzler, a bad leader, not good to be entrusted with finance and not fit to lead our great party”. They instead appointed the party Secretary, Hon Christian Eze, to run the affairs of the party.

The state chairman of the party, Barr Casmir Agbo, however, said he was not aware of the impeachment.

Agbo told our reporter, “Impeached kwa. Where did you hear that pls?”

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