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Ebonyi House suspends member over fraud

Posted by By Eric Ugbor on 2005/08/12 | Views: 496 |

Ebonyi House suspends member over fraud


THE leader of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Mr. Tobias Okwuru has been removed from office. Tobias Okwuru who is representing Ezza South in the state House of Assembly was also suspended indefinitely from the House until the allegation against him is resolved.

ABAKALIKI— THE leader of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Mr. Tobias Okwuru has been removed from office. Tobias Okwuru who is representing Ezza South in the state House of Assembly was also suspended indefinitely from the House until the allegation against him is resolved.

His removal came barely few months after the deputy speaker of the state House of Assembly Sabinus Nwankwegu was suspended for alleged complicity in the murder of the traditional ruler of Oguzoronyeya Community in Ozibo Local Government Area of the state.

Moving the motion for the suspension and removal of Okwuru, member representing Ikwo North, Mr James Alaka explained that the former strongman of the House, Okwuru fraudulently obtained N2 million from the state government and another sum of N1 million from the state’s joint account committee on the pretence that the money was for printing of the bills passed by the House.

Alaka added that despite warnings against such fraudulent acts the House leader went on to allegedly fraudulently collect N300,000 purporting to use same for printing of the 2005 appropriation bill, but failed in each of the cases to utilize the money for the purposes he claimed the monies were meant for.

He said that “Tobias Okwuru in his official capacity collected N2m from the state government under false pretences that he was going to use that to print bills for the house, the leader also fraudulently obtained the sum of N1 million from the state joint account committee for typing 40 copies of the house laws”.

He explained, “we are representatives of our people, being honourable people, we have to be exemplary, this acts by our colleague have portrayed us in bad light, if the laws we make could be effected, the motion is to serve as a deterrent to others, we hope this will discourage such acts”

While seconding the motion, Paul Ogbonia representing Ivo constituency regretted that, “we warned him and cautioned him to stop writing and collecting money from the state government in the manner he was doing it, but he went on doing that”

Chief Fabian Mworeke representing Abakaliki North constituency in his own submissions said that there was no need to withhold action on the matter considering the quantum of documents tendered by the person who moved the motion, “considering the commitment of government to ensuring prudence, fighting corruption we have to act now”.

Speaker of the house, Chief Christopher Omo-Isu who presided over the sitting said he wanted every member of the house to freely comment on the issue saying that even as there was no power supply in the over – heated house he wanted them to react.

The house which had all its members in attendance during the session in a voice vote endorsed the removal and suspension of Okwuru.

Unsatisfied with that, the speaker requested that any member who was in support of the motion should stand up and raise up his hands, all of them did.

He then announced, “that the former house leader stands removed and suspended from the house, while on suspension a committee of seven members was set up”.

Omo – Isu gave the committee led by Clement Nweke one month to submit their reports while the deputy leader, Obinna Nwachukwu took over as the leader.

When contacted on telephone, the embattled Okwuru who was on his 6th year in the house said he would only react after going through the documents as he was not in the house during the session.

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