Court says Imo deputy governor's impeachment is illegal

Madumere's tussle with Governor Okorocha has taken on a new dimension.

Eze Madumere

This ruling was handed down by Justice Benjamin Iheka on Tuesday, September 25, 2018, adding an extra edge to the power tussle in state's Government House as Governor Rochas Okorocha attempts to get rid of his deputy.

Madumere was impeached by the Imo House of Assembly on July 30, 2018 for gross misconduct and abandonment of the duties of his office.

The Imo House of Assembly Speaker, Acho Ihim, hadsaid the decision was taken after careful consideration of a report from a panel constituted by the state's Chief Judge, Justice Paschal Nnadi.

However, Justice Iheka had earlier issued an interim order restraining the panel from submitting its report to the Assembly, an order that was ignored.

While faulting the impeachment process on Tuesday for not following due process, Justice Iheka slammed Nnadi and the state's Commissioner for Justice, Militus Nlemadim, for not adhering to the provisions of section 188(5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

Even though the House of Assembly promptly accepted the appointment of Calistus Ekenze as Madumere's replacement, the High Court prevented him from being sworn in.

Okorocha vs Madumere

Madumere has long fallen out with Okorocha because the governor favours his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, to be his successor after the end of his second term.

With Madumere also nursing an ambition to replace Okorocha as governor in 2019, he has aligned with a different faction of the All Progressives' Congress (APC) that has been fighting Okorocha's faction for control in the state.

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