The Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Mr Benjamin Uwajumogu, yesterday alleged that the elder brother to the impeached deputy governor Jude Agbaso and some chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had offered him N3 billion to facilitate the impeachment of the state Governor, Rochas Okorocha.
Speaking during an interview with journalists in Owerri, the Imo State capital, Uwajumogu alleged that the millionaire businessman, the PDP national vice chairman (South East), Col. Augustine Akobundu and other high-ranking PDP members promised to give him the money if he would facilitate the impeachment of Okorocha to pave way for his deputy, Jude Agbaso, to become the governor of the state.
According to Uwajumogu: “Sometime in August, 2012, the elder brother to the former deputy governor invited me for a meeting to assist me in the attempt by the PDP hierarchy to remove me from office.
“I attended the meeting with him in Anambra State in the house of a businessman, with other high-ranking PDP members in attendance including the current South East national vice chairman of the PDP in attendance.
“I was jolted at the meeting when I was told that the Presidency had directed that impeachment proceedings be initiated against Governor Okorocha to remove him from office, so that the then deputy governor, Sir Jude Agbaso, could take over.
“The sum of N3billion was offered to me and adequate protection.
“I now asked them to give me the evidence that was required to impeach the governor and up till today they have not given me any required evidence.”
Uwajumogu further revealed, “While the elder brother to the impeached deputy governor was trying to sponsor the impeachment move, Okorocha learnt of it and confronted him and myself. I owned up, but having heard their discussion and there was no evidence, I didn’t think it was anything to worry about.”
The Speaker also denied any reports that the impeachment of the deputy governor was predetermined, pointing out that, “I am actually surprised by some of the information being released. If there was any predetermined impeachment action, it was to be against the governor, which was to be sponsored by the elder brother to the impeached deputy governor and the PDP in line with the directives of the Presidency.”
But when contacted, Akobundu stated thus: “I am not aware of what he [the Speaker] is talking about. I am a member of the opposition in the state and can’t be talking about impeachment. The PDP is concerned with restoring good governance in the state.”
Also speaking, the state Public Secretary of the PDP, Chief Blyden Amajirionwu, described the Speaker’s claim as’unfounded’ and ‘total falsehood’: “The PDP is not interested in the impeachment of Okorocha because if he is impeached, the PDP will not take over. We are working to win the next election and restore good governance in the state. The PDP will remove Okorocha during the next general election. We are not talking about impeachment.”
In his reaction, Agbaso’s brother simply said, “I am not sure the Speaker can say anything like that.”