News Beyond Boundaries

Umahi suspends Auditor-General, monarch over communal crisis

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By Toby Prince

Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has suspended the state’s Auditor-General, Innocent Nwida, over the latest communal crisis in the state.

He was suspended alongside other elected and appointed office holders from Igbeagu Community in Izzi local government area.

Commissioner for Border, Peace and Internal Security, Kenneth Ugbala, announced the latest suspensions on Friday after the governor’s meeting with representatives of Igbeagu Community involved in boundary dispute with Ukele community in Cross River State.

The suspension, which is to take immediate effect, would elapse as soon as issues are resolved in the warring communities.

“The affected persons include the Auditor-General of the state, Mr Innocent Nwida, Mr Cletus Nwakpu, Project Coordinator of the FADAMA 3 programme and His Royal Highness, Ogbonnaya Ukwa, among other political office holders.

“The issue of whether the governor has the constitutional right to suspend the elected officers does not arise because they are constitutionally mandated to protect the lives and property of their people.

“However, when an elected officer fails to perform this function, he has violated the constitution and should either resign, be suspended or charged to court.

“The courts would interpret such issues further and we are expecting such situations with this decision taken,” Ugbala said.

Umahi had on Tuesday suspended two local government chairmen and all elected and appointed office holders from Enyibichiri in Ikwo and Enyigba in Abakaliki over a communal clash.

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