AGNES NWORIE, ABAKALIKI
The Ebonyi State House of Assembly has summoned the state’s Commissioner for Capital City Development, Onyekachi Nwebonyi, over allegations of destruction of citizens’ properties.
However, the Commissioner in a swift reaction, counter-alleged that the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Francis Nwifuru was trying to use his position, as Speaker, to intimidate him and to avoid complying with an extant law of the state, for which the Ministry issued him with a contravention notice.
Nwebonyi said that, “On June 2nd, 2021, the town planning department of the Ministry of Capital City Development, Ebonyi State issued a contravention notice to the speaker of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, not as a speaker, but as an individual, over his building under construction at Plot 24, Zone 6, Centenary City, Abakaliki.”
The Commissioner explained that the notice was a last resort, as several efforts to get the Speaker comply with due process were rebuffed.
“The contravention notice was issued as a result of his failure to respond to the Ministry’s repeated requests for him to go through the normal process of building approval, which he blatantly turned down. It could be recalled that other house members and other prominent government functionaries complied with the approval process. Even the state governor went through the due process and paid the relevant fees. That contravention notice may have angered the speaker as he defiantly ignored the ministry’s demand to pay the necessary fees as required by the law, which invariably was made by the same House he superintends over. The unspoken animosity culminated in the speaker, along with his thuggish aides attacking the ministry’s task force on the 15th of June 2021,” he explained.