By Oswald Agwu
Serious trouble is brewing for the chairman, Ohaukwu local government area of Ebonyi State over his alleged assault on a member, Ebonyi State House of Assembly as thestate governor, Engineer David Umahi has set up an investigation committee.
The embatled chairman, Clement Odah allegedly invaded the State House of Assembly and engaging the lawmaker, Chinedu Onah in a fisticuff.
Meanwhile, Odah who was alleged to have slapped the representative of Ohaukwu South State Constituency in the House, during an altercation on Wednesday, had continued to deny the allegation, describing it as false.
As a result of the squambles, two opposing groups had on Thursday taken protests to both the Assembly complex at Nkaliki and the Government House, Abakaliki, the State capital. While one group protested in condemnation of the chairman’s action, the other protested in his defence.
Worried by the development, the State government on Friday, set up a 7-man neutral Committee to look into the immediate and remote causes of the imbroglio with a view to stemming its escalation.
Inaugurating the Committee chaired by Ambasssdor Frank Ogbuewu, who is also the Chairman, Ebonyi State Elders Council, Governor Umahi frowned at the unwarranted intrusion of the council boss into the affairs of the hallowed chambers.
Describing Odah’s infringement as a desecration of the dignified chambers, he noted that the sensitivity of the matter warranted the inauguration of a neutral body to look into it, because the Assembly has the right to carry out their constitutional procedures.
Umahi’warned all politicians to desist from actions that could put the relationship between the three arms of government in the state in geopardy, stressing that the level of development so far achieved in his administration was attributable to the harmonious relationship between the arms.
Umahi said: “Let me condemn very seriously the behaviour of the chairman of Ohaukwu Local government in going to the State House of Assembly; going there in the first place, I don’t want to talk about what happened.
“Going there is very, very wrong.
“Imagine if a House of Assembly member goes to the office of a Commissioner to quarrel, not to talk of the hallowed chambers of the House of Assembly.
“Everywhere in the World, the parliament chamber is always a very sacred place that people don’t desecrate.
“That’s why we have set up a neutral body; people that are not from Exco and the House of Assembly to investigate what happened and refer back to me.
“Yes there are three arms of government: the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary, but the Governor remains the head of government.
“So when there is trouble between the other arms, the Governor must step in, as the head of government, to find solution to it.
“So I want the House, the public to be patient.
“Let’s get to the root of the matter and we will handle it as it should be.
“In selecting the members of this committee, I consulted with the Speaker.”
The Committee has a former Head of Service, Dominic Aja, as secretary. Other members included Professor Chigozie Ogbu, Fidelia Nwankwo, Godwin Ogbaga, Chief Hyacinth Ikpor among others.